By Jeremy McDonald
SALEM, Ore.– Yamhill-Carlton saw an opportunity, and they took full advantage of it in their 53-48 win over Salem Academy Thursday afternoon at Salem Academy,
Rebounding, they did that well. Drawing fouls, they did that as well. Catching the Crusaders in jams near impossible to imagine from one of the 2A State’s best. But for the Tigers, who lost five seniors from last year’s seven-win team, they want to prove that they were better than everyone has expected them to be as they already matched last year’s win total already in their first ten games this year.
“It was everyone. It was rough for the first half and we just had to play as a team and score,” YC’s Kyle Slater said. “No one has expected us to be good, we lost a lot of seniors and we’re about to have a great season.”
Slater led the Tigers with 23 points and seven rebounds. Jacob McGhehey added another 13 points with five rebounds and two assists in the win as the squad kept with Salem Academy throughout the game. Eventually taking over the lead in the final minute as Slater converted an ‘And-One’ to turn a tied 48-48 game into a 51-48 lead before McGhehey iced the win at the line with a pair of free throws. Capping a great win after a slow start to the game.
“It’s always nice, especially after a tough first half that we could always come out on top. We got to start off stronger. That’s our thing, we start off slow,” Slater said.
For Salem Academy however, it was one of those tough games that they wished they had back and did things differently. They know they’re good enough, but it’s just a matter of piecing it together on the court. Something that they’ll hope they figure out during the Salem Academy Tournament that starts next week since they know teams will be coming with their best shot against them.
“It’s a good lesson, we learned a lot. We can’t just walk out on teams and expect to win because we’re ranked number one. I think we’re too confident in ourselves, we just go and treat every game like they’re the best team out there,” the Crusaders Jaren Oglesby said. “We still need to be confident, but we need to be more solid as a group and go out there with the same mindset. We all have different mindsets right now and we’re not focused. That New Year’s Tournament is going to help us turn this around and our plans to win our New Year’s Tournament.”
Oglesby led Salem Academy with 13 points and had eight rebounds. Jackson Oglesby and Landen Mitchell each scored nine points.
The Tigers are off until January 4 when they head to Neah-Kah-Nie and head to Astoria the next day to start off the New Year.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald