It was a tale of two halves, as South Wasco County erased a 29-22 halftime deficit with rallies of 37-3 and 31-7 to motor their way to an impressive 92-39 score to upend Condon-Wheeler in Big Sky boys hoops play in Condon.
The locker room statement from SWC head coach Jim Hull was simple – his team needed to go back to playing their style of ball.
In the second half, leading scorer David Ocacio netted 16 of his team-high 29 points, as the Redsides went on a 9-0 run in the first two minutes to turn the tide for good, leading 31-29 and never looking back.
All told, SWC notched 21 steals, nine deflections and forced Condon into double-digit miscues, with most of those numbers put up in the final 16 minutes.
“They finally started throwing their bodies around the court and were flying around getting into the passing lanes, really forcing the other team into bad passes,” said South Wasco County head coach Jim Hull. “Our help defense was so much better. Guys were jumping in and anticipating well. Those things become infectious. Overall, we became more aggressive as basketball players.”
Added to Ocacio’s surge, Nathan Duling had eight points, Travis Hayes hit a 3-pointer, Ellis Rager drained an inside shot and Loreto Morelli notched eight points, as the Redsides landed the knockout blow on a 37-3 run.
“We overcame adversity and came through with a solid effort in the second half, and kept pushing,” Hull added.
Staked to a 59-32 advantage, the Redsides did not let up and padded the lead on a 31-7 outburst in the final period.
Duling and Morelli had 13 points each, and Rager had a season-high 12 points on 6 of 11 shooting from the floor.
As a team SWC, 34 for 90 on field goals and 12 for 39 on 3-pointers, and Condon-Wheeler made good on 15 for 44 shots. SWC had a 36-23 rebounding edge and committed just seven turnovers.
Now that their two-game losing streak is in the rearview mirror, Hull is feeling like his team turned the corner for the greater good.
There still are three tough games coming up against Arlington, Horizon Christian and Dufur in this next stretch of the schedule.
“We are focusing on trying to get better each game,” Hull said. “We want to keep building for later in the season and once there, we will let the chips fall where they fall. We want to be playing our best ball in the latter part of the season.”
The No. 14-ranked Redsides (7-6 overall, 2-2 league) host Arlington (4-10, 1-3) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.