It was a historic night Saturday for the South Wasco County Redsides.
Sophomore guard Travis Hayes drilled 11 3-pointers for a career-high 37 points, and the Redsides sank a program-best 19 3-pointers to set a new school record with 104 points in a 104-45 victory over Culver in the Culver Boy’s Basketball Holiday Tournament championship game.
“For Travis, I think that was his breakout game,” said SWC head coach Jim Hull. “I see his potential every day in practice and I know what he is capable of. He has developed a confidence within our team and he is taking full advantage. Everyone was looking for him because he had the hot hand, so it was fun night for us all.”
In the opening quarter, the Redsides drained a perfect 7 for 7 from beyond the arc to expand the lead to a 26-8 cushion.
Staked to the 18-point lead, SWC did not shut things down in the second frame, as the shots kept falling at a record pace to the tune of a 35-16 output for a 61-24 halftime lead.
After the break, SWC did not cool off one bit.
The Redsides dropped 27 points in the third quarter to Culver’s 10 and the lopsided cushion swelled to 88-34 entering the final period.
Even with a slew of reserves on the hardwood in the final quarter, the Redsides worked a 16-11 split to set a new scoring record for the 59-point triumph.
“We were able to play at the pace that I liked and we were able to use more guys off the bench to develop depth,” said SWC head coach Jim Hull. “It was a good weekend for us.”
Just twice in school history have the Redsides scored 100 points — once in the 1990s and another time in the 2003 season.
All told, the Redsides made good on 19 of 33 from long distance and tacked on a 20 for 35 effort on two-point attempts, six of those makes were layups.
Leading scorer David Ocacio poured in 20 points and added four assists and three steals.
Ellis Rager hit double-figures with 14 points, and the duo of Nathan Duling and Brody Myers had eight points apiece. Loreto Morelli capped the scoring leaders with six points, five rebounds and three steals.
With two more non-league games still to play, Hull is hoping that the current positive trend his team is plying with continues.
Starting Jan. 3, SWC kicks off Big Sky Conference action, so there is no time to rest.
“The goal from Day 1, when we changed how we were going to play this year, has been to start playing our best in the second part of the season,” Hull said. “Every game and every day, we have to keep getting better. We have to find something that forces us to improve even more.”
With a veteran group of players, Hull said they have all bought in to this new system.
The defense has shown improvements and this style of offense has opened the door to big-time performances like those set by Hayes, Ocacio and company.
“That is the biggest key to success. If they having fun and believing it what we are doing here, they will put all of the effort they can into this,” Hull said. “That is what is coming off here. We got to keep pushing ourselves because our league is not going to be easy.”
SWC (4-3 overall) hosts Irrigon at 5:30 p.m. on Saturday, Dec. 28 in Maupin.