McNary Takes Down Sprague In Double-Overtime

By Jeremy McDonald

SALEM, Ore.–  Once more, a Central Valley Conference game came down to the wire Tuesday night.  Coming down to the closing seconds of the game between Sprague and McNary with both having traded blows with one another entering the final minute of the game and waiting on who will give into the attrition of battle first.

The Celtics have been in these close games before, most recently against West Salem while the Olympians were looking to avoid the season sweep of their opposition from the North.

Sprague had the ball out of Anthony Fuentes tying things up going into the final sixty seconds, but despite their hopes of holding for the last shot it couldn’t fall as the trilogy went into its second overtime game.

But, wait there was more as both teams pushed the ante with a second overtime period.  Kind of saying double or nothing on a Valentine’s Day special to close out the night.  Competitors.  Fighting for today, together, against their opponent that stood in front of them.

“I’ve never seen our team fought so hard.  I mean the first quarter, the second quarter, all through the second OT, we wouldn’t give up.  There were so many times we faced adversity and battled  through it.  I’m so proud of how we did.  Obviously we didn’t get the ending, but I don’t care what happens I’m proud of my teammates, they fought,” Sprague’s Liam Spencer said.  “This is just going to add on to make us mad and have us fight these next two games.”

McNary scored the first four points of OT before Sprague cut the 52-48 lead to two.  This was not going to be like that first meeting back on January 5 where McNary pulled away in extra time.  To pull off the eventual 58-55 victory, the Celtics had to buy their time and have patience on the court.. Jando Gonzalez pushed their lead to 54-50 with a pair of free throws.  Braxton Long’s And-One brought the Olys to 54-53 with about a minute left to play.  Both teams traded a pair of points, but it came down to the hero of that West Salem win in Jabol Balos-Mesey to close out the 58-55 win

It was an entertaining battle between the two competitive teams, but in a battle of where someone had to walk away victorious on the scoreboard, both walked away just that much better with two more games left in the regular season.

“We just wanted to compete,” said Balos-Messey.  “Just hold the ball everytime we got it on offense.  Swing it around, cut and all that.  Just doing what we do best…staying connected on the court on both sides.  Offense and defense.”

Balos-Messey scored eight points in the victory, four in the two overtime periods.  Brody Roth led the Celtics with 22 points and Jando Gonzalez contributed another ten for McNary, who will close out the season with North Salem (2/17), West Salem (2/21) and South Salem (2/24). Spencer led Sprague with 20 points, Grayson Long and Jake Horn each scored 16 and ten points respectfully for the Olympians in the defeat.  Sprague host South Salem Friday before closing out the regular season on February 24 against West Salem at home

Photos By Jeremy McDonald


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