Powder Valley plays through pain
NORTH POWDER — Beating an opposing team is one thing. Beating that same team by 41 points is another. But, beating a team with a separated shoulder takes it to a whole other level.
That’s what Tyler Robinson did, helping the Powder Valley boys basketball team drop Yoncalla 84-43 in the Class 1A second round play-in game Saturday night.
With 39 seconds left in the first half, Robinson went up to block a layin by Yoncalla’s Jason Ellis and separated his shoulder again. After his football coach, Jeff Grende, reset the shoulder, Robinson returned to the court in the third quarter and did not seem to be hindered by the injury at all. Robinson’s initial injury happened during the football season and can be finicky for him at times. He separated his shoulder in the regular season finale against Cove Feb. 14.
“If my hand goes behind my head, it’ll pop out sometimes,” Robinson said. “I’m not going to sit down and let it hurt, I want to go back out and play.”
Averaging 75 points per game, including eight games scoring 81 points or more, the Powder Valley boys basketball knows it can put points on the board.
Badgers head coach Kyle Dixon says that once the opposing team plays their style of basketball — think a track meet on steroids — it’s all but over.
“Once they start running with us, it’s our advantage,” Dixon said.
“(We) like to press and work as a team. (We) don’t really care who scores the most points (for us).”
It took a little time, but the Badgers gained the advantage they wanted.
“It usually takes us a little bit to get going, but once we get going it usually goes pretty well for us,” said senior Marcus Pratt.
The first quarter ended with Powder Valley out in front 22-17. The Eagles could not seem to find the bottom of net, a problem that plagued them all game.
Scoring was not a problem for the Badgers, as the second quarter ticked down into its final seconds. Right at the end, Robinson separated his shoulder and stayed out the rest of the quarter which ended with Powder Valley ahead, 41-23.
Not letting the injury slow him down, Robinson returned to the court and the Badgers pushed their lead to 67-37 the end of the third quarter.
In the final quarter, the Eagles shooting woes continued to grow, crippling their offense, while Powder Valley kept the points raining down on them.
“If you don’t win this you go home, you can’t go further. We had that experience last year where I thought we should have been in Baker,” Badger’s assistant coach Riley Martin said. “We overlooked a team and got knocked out early. This win means everything.”
Pratt finished the game with 21 points including four 3-pointers. Robinson scored 15 points and Jason Benites ended the night with 12.
For the Eagles, Zack Van Loon scored 21 points with three 3-pointers. Joe Keller finished with 11 points and Will Shaw added 10.
The Badgers will play Ione in the opening round of the state playoffs at 8:15 p.m. Thursday in Baker City. The Cardinals beat Joseph in the opening round of play-in games 84-46, and then beat Siletz Valley 75-59 to advance to Baker.