With its latest matchup deadlocked at 30-apiece with a minute left in the opening half, the South Wasco County Redsides amped up their play for a 56-23 run in the final two quarters and changed enroute to an 86-53 win over No. 19 Umpqua Valley Christian in a boy’s basketball contest Tuesday night at St. Paul High School.
In those final moments of the opening stanza, Travis Hayes started his hot shooting trend with a pair of long balls to make it 39-30 at the break.
“It has been the way we are all year. We score quickly, but in bursts and you are never quite sure when it is going to happen,” said SWC head coach Jim Hull. “When it does, you look up at the clock and the score changes from a tie or a close game to 39-30 with one minute gone. You could sense that we had the momentum from that point on.”
The sizzling sophomore maintained his edge in the third quarter with six more from 3-point range and the Redsides padded that nine-point cushion with a 27-8 rally to lead by a lopsided 66-38 margin with one quarter left.
In addition to Hayes’ six 3-pointers, Nathan Duling had five points and Loreto Morelli, who ended up with 16 points and eight rebounds, sank a pair of shots.
All told, the Redsides hit on 35 of 86 shots for 40 percent, 11 of 34 from 3-point territory.
Hayes wound up with a game-high 27 points on 8 of 17 from the field, to go with six rebounds and three steals.
Duling added a double-double with 19 points and 10 boards, and senior guard, David Ocacio, managed an 18-point effort on 8 of 17 shooting. He added four rebounds, three assists and 12 steals to his stat line.
The No. 11-ranked Redsides amped up the defensive effort, holding Umpqua Valley Christian to its sixth-lowest scoring output in 14 games played.
“We talked about really focusing a little more on our defensive pressure,” Hull said of his halftime speech. “We made a little adjustment on our press of double teaming their best point guard to try to get him to kick the ball to someone else. When we got the ball out of his hands, we just got steal-after-steal and a lot of times we turned those into 3-pointers.”
It was a chance to sandwich a tougher game into the schedule to boost RPI rankings and present a challenge for his team.
“UVC has beaten a number of strong teams this year and just lost to the No. 1 team in their league by four points last week, so our kids approached this as a challenge,” the Redside coach said. “It also served as a measuring stick for other leagues and how we measure up. To come out and play as effective as we did and shoot the ball well, shows we were ready for whatever they threw at us.”
SWC (11-7 overall, 5-3 league) hosts Griswold (3-13, 1-7 league) at 7:30 p.m. Friday.