COVE BOYS WIN WILD ONE OVER CRANE
By Raenelle Kwock
Observer Staff Writer
COVE The Cove boys ran away from Crane in the fourth quarter for a 76-65 Old Oregon League victory in a make-up basketball game Monday.
"It was a big win," Cove's Josh Pfel said.
He said the Leopards knew they would tie Jordan Valley for first place with a win.
Cove's Tom VanNice said the Leopards started bad and picked it up in the second half.
The Leopards (8-2 in OOL, 11-4 overall) increased their intensity after coach Todd Gorham was ejected with 4:05 remaining in the third quarter.
Assistant coach Chris Thew stepped in. He said he told the Leopards what they needed to hear, and they knew what they had to do and they stepped up.
"Crane was not going to give it to us," he said. "They responded and answered to it. They met the challenge and took it to them."
Crane coach Buell Gonzales said Thew kept the Leopards together by having them poised and keeping the rotations going.
Gonzales said there was a calmness.
"He's a good coach," Gonzales said.
"I feel we played really well as a team," Pfel said.
The Mustangs' Mike Adams drained four free throws after Gorham was ejected to pull them to within 44-42. Derek Vasquez's 3-pointer put the Mustangs ahead 45-44.
The Mustangs and Leopards exchanged baskets the rest of the third quarter.
Adams' jumper gave the Mustangs a 53-52 lead heading into the fourth quarter.
The Leopards took the lead for good at 54-53 off another VanNice basket at the start of the fourth.
VanNice pulled down an offensive rebound and was fouled by Kenny Haigh with 5:46 remaining. Haigh fouled out.
Haigh scored 17 of his 29 points in the first half.
VanNice's free throws extended the Leopard lead to 59-54.
The Leopard lead increased to 63-54 with 4:56 remaining on two Tanner Marshall free throws and a Pfel lay-up.
Adams' lay-up cut the Leopard lead to 68-61. But Devan Frank's 3-pointer pushed the Leopard lead to 71-61 with 1:46 left.
Frank blocked Vasquez' shot, but Vasquez got a lay-up to bring the Mustangs to within 71-63.
Two Leopard free throws extended the lead to 73-63 with 1:07 remaining.
Pfel led the Leopards with 25 points, followed by VanNice's 18 and Frank's 15.
Vasquez had 17 points and Adams chipped in 15 for the Mustangs (4-7, 8-11).
Cove hosts Powder Valley Friday and ends the regular season at Crane Saturday.
Cove 76, Crane 65
Crane boys 18 9 26 12 65
Cove 15 22 16 23 76
Crane John Davis 1 0-0 2, Kenny Haigh 12 3-4 29, Derek Vasquez 7 0-0 17, Mike Adams 4 7-9 15, Logan Harris 1 0-0 2, Quinn McKay, Mark Sitz, Kyle Joyce, Wes Davies, Mark Dunn, Kyle Davies, Caleb Cargill. Totals: 25 10-13 65.
Cove Jake Locken 2 4-4 8, Josh Pfel 11 0-2 25, Tanner Marshall 0 3-4 3, Sean Louden 1 0-0 3, Chris Taylor 2 0-2 4, Devan Frank 6 1-3 15, Tom VanNice 5 8-12 18, Raage Sofe, Andy Altenburg, Jon Louden. Totals: 27 16-27 76.
Three-pointers Crane 5 (Haigh 2, Vasquez 3); Cove 6 (Pfel 3, S. Louden, Frank 2). Fouled out Haigh, Vasquez. Total fouls Crane 19, Cove 11. Technical fouls Cove coach 2, Haigh.