Adrian’s Sam Kiely runs the ball down the court as Jordan Valley’s Jace Grenke works defense during the varsity boys basketball game last Friday night. (The Enterprise/Kristine de Leon)
ADRIAN – The Jordan Valley boys basketball team used a big second half Friday night to defeat Adrian 61-34 in a conference road game.
The Mustangs led the way the entire game and forced a young Antelope squad to commit too many turnovers.
Adrian’s starters were a little sluggish after being away from the court for most of the week, according to Antelopes coach Nathan Bayes.
“Three of my starters were home sick a couple days this week with the flu,” said Bayes. ”And one of them got it today and in fact puked a couple times during halftime. So we’ve had a pretty rough week.”
Bayes said his players struggled this week with their shooting and defensive game.
“Normally we shoot the ball really well, and we’re pretty good in defense,” said Bayes. “But today we just had a lot of breakdowns. We just weren’t able to close out and do the things we’re supposed to do.”
Jordan Valley controlled the flow through the game mostly without leading scorer Zeke Quintero. The senior left the game early in the third quarter with an ankle injury. He finished with four points.
This impressed Jordan Valley coach Alek Quintero.
“Our best player rolled his ankle during the third quarter. So it was good to see these guys pick it up without him,” he said.
Quintero highlighted junior Kort Skinner, who finished with a game high of 17 points. The coach also praised sophomore Blaise Warn and freshman Birch Eiguren who scored 14 and 10 points respectively.
“Our young players stepped out today and played really good,” said Quintero. “They just played well as a team today without the best player, which is something we needed today because usually we rely on Zeke a little too much.”
Jordan Valley widened the second-half lead behind the play of Eiguren, who netted three 3-pointers during the third quarter.
“Our passing was a lot better, and our defense was spectacular today. I think they only scored less than ten points in the third quarter,” said Quintero. “And we went on a 25-point run so that was awesome.”
The Mustangs limited the Antelopes to score six points during the third quarter to widen their advantage. And seeing his boys stay in rhythm surprised Quintero.
“Sometimes we come out a little slow in the third quarter, but this time we didn’t,” said Quintero. “Usually every game that’s where we’re weak because we come out and get beat in the third quarter.”
The Mustangs continued their winning streak last Saturday, when they dominated Four Rivers 63-27 in a home game.
While Quintero is very proud of his boys and had little to add in terms of areas of improvement, he noted that his boys could clean up their defensive approach.
“We could be playing with less hands in our defense,” said Quintero. “We get called a lot for cheap fouls. We need to work on that a little more.”
The Mustangs play their next games on the road, first on Friday against Long Creek/Ukiah and on Saturday against Burnt River.
Meanwhile, Adrian will play Harper this Friday and Crane on Saturday.
“We have to work hard. There’s no excuse for working hard. I get the ball doesn’t always go through the hoop. But we have to work hard,” said Bayes. “Adrian is a really nice young team. It is a really talented team. We just had a rough go tonight, and we’ll be better next week.”
Reporter Kristine de Leon: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.