By Jeremy McDonald
ST. PAUL, Ore.– It was just a matter of time before the press defense St. Paul was throwing out at Perrydale Monday night would start to work. The scheme started in practice and slowly the Buckaroos started to see the fruits of their labor coming down the stretch of their 54-35 home victory.
A crucial win to keep up with those same Pirates, who were tied for second in the Casco League with Willamette Valley Christian with two league losses going into the game, and league leading Crosshill Christian with the second loop through league under way. And for much of the game, that press and their defensive ball pressure helped keep St. Paul in the game with Perrydale holding margins of 12-8 in the first quarter, 23-22 at halftime thanks to a last second three by the Pirates Connor Graber and 31-29 in the third quarter before the floodgates finally opened for the home team.
The Bucks closed out the third quarter on a 7-0 run, taking a 36-31 lead into the fourth quarter. It was the spark they needed going into the fourth because they built upon that end-of-quarter foundation that they put together as their lead grew and grew. Finishing the game on a 25-4 run to close out their ninth win of the season and fourth in league play.
“That was huge at the end to help and just boost our momentum too. We’ve been working on that in practice and it helped shut them down, it helped a lot,” St. Paul’s George Pohlschneider said.”This (win) is huge. We didn’t win against them last game, but we wanted this game. We came back and got it, our momentum is coming now and it just helped a lot knowing that we’re still in the game, that we can still come back”
It sets the Buckaroos in a good spot coming down the stretch sitting with three league losses as they head to the Oregon School For The Deaf on Wednesday before hosting the Eagles of Crosshill on Friday. Perrydale too has a chance to bounce back and respond as they look to rebound from their second-straight league defeat when they host Falls City/Kings Valley Charter Wednesday before heading to Elkton on Saturday. Graber points to it just taking one win for them to get back their confidence and to hopefully string together a few of those wins going into league playoffs.
“These next two games are huge, if we win one, we’ll get that motivation in our head and we get that excitement, that urge to keep on pushing and pushing and get that win column up,” Graber said. “We got that mindset that we gotta keep pushing, especially in practice. Pushing each other to the highest level we can be, Coach (Brian) Domes in the locker room said, we have to push each other through practice a lot because that effort we put in practice will go towards the games with a stretch of league games coming up and league playoffs. We just got to get to work and we’ll hopefully get there.”
Warren Rose finished with 24 points for St. Paul and Pohlschneider contributed another ten for the Bucks in the win Monday. Graber and Erik Danka each had eight points for Perrydale.
Photos By Jeremy McDonald