By Jeremy McDonald
SILVERTON, Ore.– The machine that is the Silverton Boys Basketball program continues to churn. Sealing their fifth-straight Mid-Willamette Conference Title and their third-straight undefeated season. In a matter of fact, over last five years under Jamie McCarty the Foxes have only lost one MWC game, a 87-81 defeat to Corvallis on January 11, 2019 as they’ve gone 69-1 in that span.
And on Senior Night Tuesday night to close out the regular season, this senior group picked up improved to 55-1 over the course of their time in the program at the Varsity program following their 78-33 win over Lebanon.
“This program is one of the best in the State. McCarty has created a..the atmosphere as well as the chemistry with the team. It’s amazing, there’s no other words for it. It’s been a blast, it’s part of my High School career for sure,” Joey Haugen said.
Their 20-5 record is a far cry from the 4-5 start they were entering league on. Losing five of their last six entering league was tough, but it prepared them for some battles that came with league. Crescent Valley both times and South Albany the second time in particular as they won some tight battles and those big margin victories they picked up along the way.
“I think that competition in the preseason really helped us out. We stayed confident in what we can do and improved a lot since then defensively and offensively. We’re really confident at this point,” McCarty said
In Tuesday’s finale, they jumped out to a 17-2 lead after one and led 41-15 going into the halftime break over the Warriors. Setting the pace early as they hit four first-half three’s, three coming from McCarty who finished with 15 points in the victory.
“It was a great win, we all played our part. We were all there for each other,” Neil Emifov said. “We all played big, we all found open the spots and fired. Ryan (Redman-Brown) rebounded well and we all played great defense.”
Emifov finished with 27 points, hitting two three’s in the second half as the senior matched McCarty’s three three-pointers with three of his own.
And as they were cutting down the nets once more, the real fun begins on Friday when they host Willamette. Silverton accomplished one goal and now they got another in returning to Gill next weekend. The bitter taste of how the 2020 playoffs ended for them with the start of the Coronavirus Pandemic is there as they hope to return to the Oregon State University campus and chase the 5A State Title this postseason.
“We’ve been waiting for this for years. With the pandemic and sophomore
and junior year not being able to get there, this is a big deal. We’ve been talking about this day for a few years now. I think we’re going to have a lot of energy coming in no matter what,” Haugen said.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald