Dayton Holds Off Salem Academy For 58-47 Victory

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

DAYTON, Ore.–  Something just clicked for the Dayton Boys Basketball team to close out the first quarter of their 58-47 victory over Salem Academy Monday night.

After a seemingly slow start that saw the Crusaders jump out to a 6-0 lead about three-and-a-half minutes into the game, Boston Hodges basket to snap the shutout didn’t seem much until it did.  That basket evolved into a 8-6 Pirate lead after one quarter and by halftime Dayton led to the Crusaders 25-11.

Using rebounding, pushing tempo up guard and getting their shots to fall to end the half on a 19-5 run that had momentum all in favor for the home team as both teams wrapped up a tough early season slate of games.  Using their 21 defensive rebounds to set the pace as they kept their lead around 15-points going into the fourth quarter of the game.

“Rebounds.  Always rebounds.  Rebounds, attitude and effort.  Everytime we get a rebound we release it and work it towards the middle, it always opens up the entire floor for us,” Dayton’s Michael Freeborn said. “We have so many guys that can score.  We have so many offensive scorers.  As soon as we get a defensive stop, we’re going on a fastbreak.”

Freeborn led the way with 19 points and four rebounds.  Trae Wall led the Pirates with five rebounds to go with his eight points in the game as it seemed as if Dayton were going to sail to their fourth win of the young season.

That was, until Salem Academy started to climb back  into the contest when they went on a run going into the fourth quarter and got it to single-digits early in the final frame.  Mounting what was looking to be a crazy finish between two legendary coaches in Ron Hop and Ben Brown.  

Dayton’s Ron Hop (standing) and Salem Academy’s Ben Brown (squating) coaching up their squads during Monday’s contest (Picture By Jeremy McDonald)

But, on this evening, the run came a little too late.  There wasn’t enough time to swing momentum fully into their favor as Salem Academy got as close as eight points in the opening minute or two of the quarter before it was halted by Dayton over the remainder of the time on the clock.  This game, though, serves as a good learning experience about adjusting to perimeter pressure and overall just focusing on the little things to help them success the next time they step onto the court.

“In the past we’ve had some struggles with perimeter pressure and Dayton’s proven themselves really good at that, so it’s a good test to how we can handle that pressure on the outside and what options we can look to when it happens,” Salem Academy’s Landen Mitchell said.  “It’s always tough when other teams get momentum, it’s always tough to come back from that.  We just had to rally together  and focus on little things first like blocking out, getting rebounds, steals and those hustle plays and what not.  So we just had to find other ways, other than getting it inside to Jackson (Oglesby) or just have Jaren (Oglesby) shoot it to get these points up.”

Mitchell and Jaren Oglesby each led Salem Academy with 14 points, Jackson Oglesby contributed 12 points with 13 rebounds as the squad will be off until December 28 when they host the Salem Academy Tournament.

For the Pirates, who will play Oregon Episopcal Thursday before heading to the Cascade Christian Tournament next week, it was a good test for them to close out a tough win and shutting the door on a quality team knowing that the Crusaders were surging there late in the game Monday.

“Coach called a timeout and he was like ‘we’re not giving up this lead’ and we were like ‘we need a defensive stop’.  That defensive stop led to a score and a defensive stop led to another defensive stop.  Senior year I love it.  I’m giving it my all, 110-percent…every minute of it,” Freeborn said.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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