Vale’s Colton Kesey goes for a put-back duringa game against Nyssa last season. Kesey is the only returning starter from last year’s edition of the Vale varsity basketball team. (The Enterprise/Pat Caldwell)
IRRIGON – The Vale boys varsity basketball team shrugged off a slow start defensively and used a big scoring spurt in the final quarter to post a 60-48 win over Irrigon Friday night in an Eastern Oregon League contest.
“We didn’t play very well in the first half. Offensively we were doing OK but defensively we struggled getting off the bus a little bit,” said Vale coach Colby Shira.
John Wolfe scored 15 points and pulled down six rebounds while Colton Kesey chipped in 12 points and forced four steals.
“We started getting after it in the second half,” said Shira.
The Vikings (3-3) trailed by two points going into the final frame but outscored the home team 19-5 down the stretch for the win.
“We just played a lot better in the second half,” said Shira.
The Vikings faced Ontario Tuesday and will take on Riverside Friday at home.
Vale girls defeated Riverside. The Viking varsity girls dismantled Riverside Friday, posting a 53-16 Eastern Oregon League victory to improve to 6-0.
“We played pretty well,” said Vale coach Jason Johnson.
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Emersyn Johnson scored 13 points to lead the Lady Vikings while teammate Matyson Siddoway finished the night with 10 points.
“We shot the ball well. I think we are starting to execute really well and because of that we get good shots almost every time down the floor,” said Johnson.
The Vikings are ranked No. 10 by the Oregon School Activities Association.
The Lady Vikings faced Ontario Tuesday night and then play Riverside at home Friday.
“We are winning games because we are playing good defense. We held Burns to 32 points, Riverside and Irrigon in the teens,” said Johnson.
A balanced attack is also key to the Lady Vikings’ winning ways, said Johnson.
“That makes all the difference. Maybe one time Matyson Siddoway creates the shot but Emersyn Johnson gets the finish,” he said.
The balanced scoring pays dividends, said Johnson.
“That is hard to defend,” he said. The undefeated league mark hasn’t made much of an impact on the Vikings, said Johnson.
“We just say, well, whether we win or lose is irrelevant. It is how we go out there and play. We just try to go out and play as hard as we possibly can as a team. So far, it’s worked out,” said Johnson.
Reporter Pat Caldwell: [email protected] or 541-473-3377.
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