By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– These Olympians have no quit in their veins. It’s nonexistent in their vocabulary.
Yeah they were missing two players, Drew Rodriguez and Emerson Long. Yeah they were down 11 at the halftime break, faced with a hot-shooting Bend squad that put them in the 39-28 hole Sprague found themselves in. But at the 5:26 mark of the fourth quarter when Ryder Skogstad struck once more, the Olys pulled even with the Lava Bears at 51 apiece.
Him and Dallon Morgan paced the 73-69 overtime comeback victory in the second half, seemingly putting to bed any question of what this team is capable of faced with adversity.
“It’s something that I love about this team is that we don’t really give up. We knew…I said in the huddle, we’ve done this a lot of times at Sprague. My whole four years, we come back,” “We don’t come out very strong. We knew we’ll be in the game and I have no doubt that we’ll come back to win this game.”
“Me and Dallon, we knew that we had a couple of guys out and we had a lot of guys step up. Coach has been talking about how we need to talk, we need to lead and that was a perfect example of it,” Skogstad.adds. “We were getting guys in it and doing what they were supposed to be doing. No one made stupid decisions.”
Morgan scored 11 of his 32 points in the third quarter, sparking Sprague to pull to within seven of Bend in the seventh quarter before Skogstad followed suit where he scored seven of his 25 in the fourth quarter before scoring an additional eight in overtime as the game ended in a 58-58 draw to force the extra period. All with that mentality that they were in this game until the bitter-end.
“We knew no team could keep that up all game long. We jut knew we had to keep going, slow the pace of the game down and get real good possessions. We can’t get it back all at once, I think we were down 11 at half. We can’t get it back all at once, we had to chip away. We were doing five or eight going into the fourth quarter, got it to overtime and were able to pull it out,” Skogstad said.
Sprague had that one last burst in them as they took full advantage of it to pull away from Bend to improve to 7-1 in Mountain Valley Conference play. The Lava Bears fall to 4-4 in league play and 11-8 overall. Brown Keown led the way for Bend with 27 points and six three-pointers.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald