By Jeremy McDonald
TURNER, Ore.– Landon Knox made sure that Perrydale wasn’t going to go into the Casco League District Playoffs beating his Crosshill Christian Boys team twice with one more league game to go.
Coming on the heels of their 67-58 defeat to the Pirates Wednesday and faced with a 41-37 deficit, the freshman in Knox put his team on his back by scoring the next five points to push the Eagles ahead of Perrydale with 14.6 seconds left. It was five of his 20 points, and while he’s just a frosh, the moment of the game and the season hasn’t been too much for him with the postseason looming ahead.
“I knew we’re a young team. I’ve played a lot of tournament ball and a lot of basketball in my time. I’m really comfortable to step-up as a leader like that, so I was ready and prepared,” Knox said.
The run came on the heels of the Pirates own rally to take the lead on Crosshill Christian’s Senior Night for Owen Spauling. A 6-2 run by Perrydale that featured baskets from McGurie Perkins and Brandon Graber had helped the Pirates in the right direction of the regular season sweep of the Eagles.
Coming off a slow first half, they were knocking on the door of their 20th win of the season and the cusp of going into their regular season finale against C.S. Lewis/Veritas Tuesday wanting that 16-0 league season.
“First half we weren’t working hard enough and then in the second half we were working a lot harder and do that earlier in the game,” Perkins said. “Just a lot of reflection on that game and just coming back. We did good (tonight), just gotta bring it more in the first half. I think we need to work harder on defense and stuff, but we’re ready come Saturday. It was fun, good energy but we need to bring more into it next week.
Perkins finished with 14 points, Graber added another nine. Big man Kamern Poulson finished with ten points for Perrydale.
But all was for not as Crosshill Christian, down to their final gasps, succeeded in their comeback behind their strong defense with the Eagles traveling to Salem to play the Oregon School For The Deaf on Tuesday. Drawing inspiration from their defeat on the road a few days ago. The game, the away crowd, it inspired the Crosshill Christian squad coming down the stretch Friday.
“We were really motivated. We had two days to work on it and think about it. We came into this game and really want to bring it out and it was a big win for us, I’m happy for that,” Knox said. “We had our runs and they had their runs. I was saying that if we kept doing our stuff on defense, we’ll pull out the game and I was confident in it..”
Noah Dallum contributed eight and Julius Pokorny added another six in the win.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald