By Jeremy McDonald
PENDLETON, Ore.– Regis gave Salem Academy all they could handle in Thursday’s 2A State Quarterfinal match-up at Pendleton High School. A game in which the Crusaders won 59-49, but it wasn’t until a Salem Academy push going into and out of the halftime break that was seemingly the deciding factor in the Round of eight.
Down eight early, the Rams rallied to take a brief 21-16 lead at the 5:22 mark following an Isaiah Koehnke basket. Nerves were part of the slow start as this was the first time since 2017 that Regis made it to Pendleton, but once they got their feet under them, Regis made the most of it.
“Of course, it was nerves, it’s been a while since we’ve been to Pendleton and so it was cool just to come,” Regis’ Tanner Manning said. “It was great to see us come together and worked as a team. Salem Academy is just really good. They can shoot the lights out and I think we gave it all we had.”
Basketball can be weird with its runs however.
Salem Academy had theirs to start, Regis answered, then the Crusaders made their rebuttal. Turning a five-point deficit into a 36-26 lead by the 3:54 mark of the third quarter before the Rams chipped it down to a 36-34 lead with a minute left in the third quarter.
Salem Academy’s John Pass points to them needing to control the ball more, to run and trust the offense more as they move into the State Semi-Final round at 8:15pm Friday night to stretch their lead further.
“Yeah, I think extending the lead is what we need to work on. We’ve been taking bad shots and not running the offense, taking time off the clock, and building on the lead. I think it’s important to learn to build the lead,” Pass said. “
A 7-2 run to take a 43-36 lead was all they really needed to put an exclamation point on the win, rebuilding the lead offensively as their defense continued to raise havoc on Regis’ shooters as the Rams couldn’t make that one more run to get back into the lead.
Manning finished with a game-high 18 points for Regis with six rebounds. Pass led Salem Academy with 16 rebounds, seven rebounds and six assists in the win. Jaren Oglesaby (15) and Chas Brown (12) scored in double figures for the Crusaders in the win.
Koehnke (13) and Nick Woods (10) each scored in double-figures for Regis.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald