La Grande’s boys basketball team took its vengeance out on Ontario in a Greater Oregon League playoff game that ended 57-45 Saturday.
Brandon Cederholm said the drive from the season ending loss to Ontario kept the Tigers focused on the task at hand. The win by Ontario last Friday kept La Grande from winning the league title outright, and also snapped La Grande’s 16-game winning streak, adding more fuel to the fire.
“We had a little chip on our shoulder coming into the game,” Cederholm said.
“We lost a heartbreaker down at their place last week,” Brandon Dall said. “We wanted to come out and kind of get revenge on them.”
Dall lead the Tigers in both scoring and defensive play.
“Brandon (Dall) did a good job finishing around the rim and he was an animal on the boards. He’s resilient and he kept battling,” head coach Mark Carollo said.
Dall started out slow with only two points in the first quarter. The rest of the Tigers began the game with an 8-2 run including two 3-pointers from Troy Williams. Dall worked hard to stymie Ontario’s offense, but despite the teams’ effort, the quarter ended with La Grande behind by one, 19-18.
Once the Tigers hit the court for the second quarter, Dall took over the offense and made a personal eight-point run that helped push his team into the lead by the end of the half 34-28.
“The previous games I haven’t been playing that well and I just wanted to come out and have some energy and stay focused,” Dall said.
Its momentum building, La Grande ended the third with a 10-point lead, 47-37, and cruised to the finish.
“They were into the game from the start to the end,” Carollo said. “We practice to play with no slow starts, no let downs. We have to come out here and work for the full 32 minutes.”
Dall scored a game-high 25 points, shooting 3-of-6 from the free throw line. Tyson Wicklander finished with 11 points. Troy Williams also ended the night with 11 points, making three 3-pointers in the first quarter.
For Ontario, Jason Hauter scored 23 points, while Shaun Hart finished with seven. Both Kyler Vogt and Tim LeBoutillier added six each.
The Tigers will continue their playoff season in a couple of weeks against a team and at a place yet to be determined.