Down 5-2 in the first few minutes of the first quarter, the No. 5-ranked South Wasco County Redsides dug deep and found energy and ferociousness enough to turn the tide and outscore 2A Culver 63-13 over the final 30 minutes to cruise to a lopsided 65-18 win Tuesday in a non-league boys’ basketball game played in Maupin.
“What I noticed was that our defensive intensity, especially in that first half, it remained constant,” said SWC head coach Jim Hull. “We continued to get in the passing lanes, get some steals, we caused some bad shots and they turned into easier buckets going the other way. Our team defense continues to improve.”
Tuesday’s effort marked the fourth time the Redsides have held an opponent to 29 points or fewer in a game.
In the first quarter, Brody Myers and Ellis Rager scored seven points to help SWC jump ahead 11-5.
Devan Dammann added seven first-half points, Travis Hayes hit a pair of threes and shot 5 of 5 from the line, as the Redsides finished the second quarter on a 26-0 run to lead 37-5 at the half.
Out in front by 32 points to start the second half, SWC continued its momentum with an 18-8 rally to make it 55-13 entering the fourth quarter, and then capped the game on a 10-5 run for the final margin.
All told, the Redsides (7-1 overall) made good on 22 field goals, three from long range and converted 18 of 24 free throws.
Myers had 14 points and five rebounds to lead SWC, and Hayes added 14 and Rager totaled 10 points and nine rebounds.
Dammann scored seven points and added four assists and four steals, Keith Kegel dropped four points and Andrew Lindley rounded out the statistical leaders with two points.
Culver (4-7) hit on seven field goals and went 3 for 8 from the line, as Tristan Bogart led with seven points.
Coming off Saturday’s closer matchup against Dayville-Monument, Coach Hull was happy to see his team finish strong against the Bulldogs.
“It was a different game after the Monument-Dayville game. We seemed kind of up for that game,” Hull said. “These games are sometimes hard to get up for knowing the team we are playing against, but I thought they did a good job considering the situation.”
In Saturday’s home game against No. 7 Monument-Dayville, both teams fought to a 42-point total, with the Redsides out in front by a 22-20 score on their way to a 74-51 victory.
Heading into the second quarter, SWC’s defensive intensity went up a couple of notches and the Tigers had trouble maintaining any offensive continuity.
Monument-Dayville (9-3) hit one basket, a last-second 3-pointer, in the second quarter and managed four field goals apiece in the third and fourth quarters.
“Their team started looking tired,” Hull said of Monument-Dayville. “They didn’t have a lot of depth and our length made it harder for them. It’s harder to pass, it’s harder to rebound and I noticed they had their hands on their hips. We changed a lot of their shots and then we were able to get some turnovers and go the other way in transition.”
While the defense imposed its will, Hayes and Myers hit three 3-pointers each as part of a 21-4 second-quarter run to move SWC ahead 43-24 at the half.
The Redsides finished the final 16 minutes on runs of 15-14 and 15-13 to seal their 23-point win.
On the strength of eight 3-pointers, Hayes had a season-high 30 points and Rager added 15 points.
Myers had 14 points and Dammann also had double-digits with 11 points for the Redsides, who made 29 field goals, 10 3s and converted 6 of 11 free throws.
Jordan Bowlus had 20 points to lead a Tiger team that hit eight 2-pointers, nine 3-pointers and went 8 of 15 from the line.
SWC played Willamette Valley Christian (3-5) today at the Moda Center in Portland.
At 7:30 p.m. Friday in Maupin, the Redsides host Dufur (3-5) for the start of Big Sky Conference action.
“It is kind of exciting,” Hull said. “We play Dufur right off the bat and we know that they are going to be really up for us, especially this year. We are really hungry this year. We are going to go out and we have hung on our ability to play defense and win the rebounding battle. It is going to be a battle. We look forward to the opportunity to start that second season.”