La Grande’s John Bodfish posts up against Nyssa’s Anthony Hansen in the Tigers’ 69-57 victory over the Bulldogs Tuesday night. Bodfish finished with a team-high 15 points. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
La Grande boys slide past Nyssa in non-league play, 69-57
The La Grande boys basketball team picked up its second straight win Tuesday, topping visiting Nyssa, 69-57.
The Tigers looked like they were going to run away with things early on, starting the game on an 8-0 run before the Bulldogs finally got on the board with 4:36 left in the first quarter.
LHS led 17-4 after the opening eight minutes.
The Tigers continued to roll in the second quarter, stretching the lead to 19 points at 28-9 after a Kurt Boyd three-pointer with just under three minutes left in the first half.
But Nyssa didn’t go away and went on a run to close the second quarter, cutting the lead to 32-21 and drawing the ire of coach Mark Carollo.
“I thought we came out ready to play and looked decent early on,” Carollo said. “But then we think we’re good enough to put it on cruise control. Nyssa stayed in the game. I just didn’t think we competed hard.”
Back-to-back lay-ins by John Bodfish and Tyson Wicklander started the second half and stretched the lead to 36-21 and it looked like La Grande was going to put together another run.
But the Bulldogs didn’t allow it.
Nyssa was able to get within nine points (43-34) after a three-pointer by Anthony Hansen with 2:30 to go in the third quarter. Thirty seconds later the Bulldogs cut the score to 43-35.
But La Grande closed the quarter strong, getting three-pointers by Kaleb White and Brandon Dall to end the quarter leading 51-38.
“We talked about not letting up at halftime,” Carollo said. “I thought there were moments in the second half, but emotionally we just didn’t have it.”
La Grande stayed in control throughout the fourth quarter, going up 64-45 after a seven-point burst by Troy Williams.
Nyssa closed the game on a 12-4 run but La Grande was able to hold on for the win to improve to 2-3 overall. NHS drops to 1-4 this year.
“We’re a young team. Hopefully this is a stepping stone,” Carollo said.
The Tigers were led by Bodfish, who finished with 15 points. White added 14, Boyd had 10 and Dall had nine.
Wicklander scored eight and Williams finished with seven points.
Hansen led the Bulldogs with 11 points, while John Bates and Austin Wagstaff both had nine.
La Grande travels to play The Dalles-Wahtonka on Saturday.
The Eagle-Indians are 1-3 this year and lost 63-56 to Forest Grove Tuesday.