Vale’s Tanner Steele (No. 5) takes a jump shot against Nyssa Saturday night during an Eastern Oregon League contest. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)
VALE – Turnovers and a low-scoring first quarter doomed the Vale varsity basketball team Saturday night against Nyssa and the Bulldogs held off a late Viking rally to post a 46-41 Eastern Oregon League win.
“We started pretty slow,” said Vale coach Colby Shira. Nyssa established jurisdiction early and jumped out to a 13-2 lead after the first quarter.
“Unfortunately, we had that really weak first quarter. You just can’t do that against a really good team and that is a really good team there in Nyssa,” said Shira. Pedro Chavez poured in 16 points to lead the Bulldogs (1-0) while teammate Leo Barba chipped in seven.
“I think we guarded really well and I think both teams played hard,” said Nyssa coach Aaron Mills.
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John Wolfe led the Vikings with 14 points.
The Vikings (0-2) committed 24 turnovers.
“We had an abundance of turnovers, partly due to the defense that was playing against us and also because our kids were pretty jacked up because of the atmosphere,” said Shira.
While the Vikings trailed all game, Vale managed to pull within 42-36 with 1:40 to play, and sliced the margin to 43-39 with just over 30 seconds to go.
The Vikings were also cold from the free throw line, hitting 8 of 20.
Shira said the Vikings’ youth – Vale started four sophomores – was a factor.
“We were playing some pretty young kids,” he said.
Shira said despite the loss he isn’t too concerned about the Vikings.
“I am happy with where we are at,” he said.
Vale played Irrigon Monday in a make-up game and then faced Ontario Tuesday night and Riverside Friday in Boardman.
In Class 1A boys prep play, Adrian (1-0) defeated Cove 69-34 Saturday and Jordan Valley (1-1) downed Huntington, 71-40 Saturday. Adrian will face Huntington Friday while Jordan Valley plays Harper Charter Friday.
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