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POINTS APLENTY: Imbler's Alan O'Donald hits a layup in Imbler's district semifinal win over Spray. (The Observer/TONY ADAME).
POINTS APLENTY: Imbler's Alan O'Donald hits a layup in Imbler's district semifinal win over Spray. (The Observer/TONY ADAME).

Tony Adame

Staff Writer

Spray boys head coach Garey Fischer's plan to beat Imbler in the semifinal of the District IV-1A Friday was simple: try to contain Imbler standout Tanner McIntosh.

"Our idea was we wanted to take the outside shot away from (Tanner), make him go down low," Fischer said. "But Imbler has so many ways they can beat you."

Do they ever.

Led by Alan O'Donald's 30 points and five steals, Imbler (12-0 Old Oregon League, 26-0 overall) defeated Spray 83-48 to advance to today's district championship against Joseph after Joseph's 59-39 win over Jordan Valley in the other semifinal.

With the win, Imbler earned the right to host a 1A state playoff game Feb. 25.

"I've managed to convince these kids that offense wins games and defense wins championships," Imbler head coach Ken Kramer said. "Now we've really got our work cut out for us."

McIntosh (19 points, 11 rebounds), John McKinnis (18 points, 15 rebounds) and Max Nilsson (10 points, 11 rebounds) all notched double-doubles in the Panther victory.

In the first half, with Spray trailing just 11-10, O'Donald sparked the first of several Imbler runs, scoring on back-to-back layups then intercepting an Eagle pass and dishing to teammate Cody Campbell for a basket.

"If you pressure a team, it may not be you that gets the steal or makes the play," Campbell said. "But that constant pressure will wear on the other team after awhile."

An O'Donald three-pointer as time expired in the second quarter sent Imbler to the locker room with a 38-25 halftime lead.

"I never really know what I'm going to do out there, I just let instinct take over," O'Donald said. "It makes it a lot easier when Tanner has three guys hanging off of him every time he touches the ball.

"I swear to God, everyone in the state, especially here, knows what he can do."

In the third quarter, a pair of three-pointers by O'Donald and a breakaway steal and two-handed slam by McIntosh made the score 53-30 midway through the period.

"Some teams can play with us for a little while, but whatever they're going to show us, once we figure it out it's going to be tough for them after that," McIntosh said. "We have so much firepower it's hard to focus on just one guy."

Game time against Joseph is 7 p.m.

SPRAY (48)

Starr 3 0-0 8, Asher 0 0-0 0, Bruce 3 1-2 7, Kocourek 6 2-2 14, Fischer 5 1-2 11, Snell 1 0-0 3, Martin 0 0-0 0, Fitzgerald 0 0-0 0, W. Miller 0 0-0 0, Young 0 0-0 0, Adams 1 0-0 3, A. Miller 0 0-0 0, A. Starr 0 0-0 0. Totals 19 4-6 48.


Fulfer 0 0-0 0, O'Donald 12 2-3 30, McKinnis 6 6-10 18, Tan. McIntosh 6 6-6 19, Campbell 2 0-2 4, Myers 0 0-0 0, Davidson 0 0-0 0, Cline 0 0-0 0, Harder 0 2-2 2, Nilsson 5 0-0 10, Tay. McIntosh 0 0-0 0, Sweigert 0 0-0 0, Hohstadt 0 0-0 0. Totals 31 16-24 83.

Spray 11 14 10 13 – 48

Imbler 21 17 27 18 – 83

3-point goals: Spray 6-32 (Starr 2, Fischer 2, Snell, Adams); Imbler 5-14 (O'Donald 4, Tan. McIntosh). Total fouls: Spray 20; Imbler 10.

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