Santiam Finds A Way Again, Defeats Blanchet 65-55

By Jeremy McDonald

jeremymcdonald73@gmail.com

MILL CITY, Ore.– The Santiam-Blanchet Catholic Boys Basketball game Tuesday night was just one of those classic back-and-forth games that came down to the wire with the Wolverines hanging on for their sixth-straight Tri-River Conference victory in the process following the 65-55 victory.

Santiam led 14-12 and 31-25 going into the halftime break.  Geez the Wolverines even led 44-33 late in the third quarter before Daniel Maza went full vintage Kobe Bryant taking over the game and Steph Curry by hitting four three-pointers to rapidly draw the Cavaliers ahead for a moment and hanging around coming down the stretch in regulation.

“It’s been big, we’ve been one of the best teams in battling and losing by single-digit games.  What slipped this off was rebounds, this one was our games,” Maza said.  “It really comes down to our effort and hustle late in the fourth quarter.  We’ve been battling hard from the first, second and third quarters…but it’s the fourth quarter where it slips away from us.

“It’s fun, it’s exciting.  It sucks that we lost, but we got a game on Thursday and a game on Friday and we’ll come back better than ever.”

Maza would finish with 31 points in the game, 19 points in the second half alone.  Battling to put a Blanchet Catholic team back into the win column again as Maza’s Cavs team battled against a Wolverine team that had Ezra Downey and Gage Twede go off for 26 points and 19 points respectively.

But when the game was getting tight late, 57-55 with 2:18 left in the game, Dana served as the hot hand when his team needed someone the most.  Scoring six of his eight points down the stretch to help keep the Wolverines ahead to the finish line.  Matter of fact, the junior’s eight points in the game came in the fourth quarter as the Boys from the Canyon improved to 6-0 in TRC play and 11-3 overall.  Winning their last seven games as they head to play Delphian on Thursday in Sheridan.

“I hadn’t scored a lot in this game, but it was big for me to make those last minute shots in a tight game…Every game is like Kennedy or Regis, it’s the number one team in the State,” Dana said.  “It really prepares us for State, a lot of teams are sleeping on us right now, but eventually when we get to State it’s going to be different.”

Carson Banning added ten points for Blanchet, who will host Culver on Thursday at 6:30pm.

Photos By Jeremy McDonald

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