By Jeremy McDonald
PENDLETON, Ore.– Regis went with the mindset that they were not going to lose this game Friday morning against Heppner.
But they needed an exclamation point in momentum to make sure that they had this game in the can as they saw the Mustangs creeping in during the second quarter of the Rams 67-49 win, leading just 28-25 with 3:44 left in the game.
They found a little bit of a groove behind freshman guard Isaiah Koehnke and senior forward Nick Woods as the duo combined for the final ten points of the half as their defense held it down to help push the lead back to nine by the halftime break.
“We thought about what we really wanted from this game and that was we wanted to win this game. We really wanted it,” Koehnke said.
Woods points to Head Coach’s Jason Koehnke’s inspirational speeches he always seems to give. And whatever the elder Koehnke said at halftime worked because Koehnke the Younger and Woods led an inspirational rally that had the Rams leading 54-39 after three.
They weren’t satisfied yet. They knew that a nine-point, 15-point lead could be gone in a flash of an eye if they let off the gas. The lead reached 20, 63-43, by the 3:32 mark of the fourth quarter as Regis advanced to the Consolation Finals Saturday morning against Bonzana.
“Coach, he gives us inspirational speeches all the time. He pretty much fired us up at halftime, so that third quarter was really big. Heppner, they don’t die, they’ll keep coming,” “(Coach Koehnke said) that we’re not done yet, you may think we’re ahead ten, but they’re not going to give it to us.
“Most of us know that we’re not done yet. We have another game to win before we can celebrate.”
Koehnke finished with a game-high 28 points and five assists while Woods added 16 points and eight rebounds.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald