The La Grande Tigers boys basketball team looked as though it may escape with a win in its home opener after Justin Jenner gave the team a 51-50 lead over the Nyssa Bulldogs with a putback with 16 seconds remaining.
Nyssa, though, had other ideas.
Pedro Chavez hit a tough pull-up 19-foot jumper with three seconds to play, and La Grande was unable to get off a final shot as the Bulldogs stole a 52-51 victory Saturday night in La Grande.
“It was a very tough shot that the kid hit,” LHS Head Coach Mark Carollo said.
The Tigers, who trailed nearly the entire second half, cut an eight-point deficit down to one on three occasions, the last at 50-49 when Nick Tsiatsos drove for a layup with 2:03 to play. The teams traded turnovers and missed free throws before the Tigers had a late chance for the lead. Out of a timeout, Braden Bell saw a shot in the lane rim out, but Jenner collected the last of 12 LHS offensive rebounds and put the follow-up attempt in for the one-point lead.
But on the ensuing possession Chavez, who led all scorers with 21 points, dribbled left, pulled up on the left wing with a foot on the 3-point line, and, while falling down with a defender in his face, drained the winning shot to help Nyssa split the season series. La Grande won a month ago in Nyssa, 59-50.
While Carollo credited Chavez with hitting the tough shot, he added the Tigers didn’t put forth the effort needed for the full 32 minutes.
“I’m a little bit disappointed in our effort level tonight,” the coach said. “We’ve been taking steps in the right direction, (but) tonight (there) was a lack of focus, lack of energy, and that lack of determination.”
The team did show in spurts what it needed to potentially get a win, including a hot start where it took an early eight-point lead at 15-7 on a four-point play by Tsiatsos and a pair of Kaleb Myer free throws.
Nyssa closed within 17-15 after one quarter, inched ahead late in the second and gained some momentum when Omar Jaquez banked in a long 3-pointer — one of 11 the Bulldogs hit — at the buzzer for a 28-24 lead at the half.
La Grande briefly pulled even in the third before Nyssa surged back ahead by eight, setting up the Tigers’ rally in the fourth, which Carollo commended his team for.
“I did like the resilience of our team to know they weren’t playing their best basketball but to continue to fight and get after it,” he said.
Tsiatsos led La Grande with 11 points. Bell added nine, and Jenner scored eight. Bell also had 11 rebounds to help boost the Tigers’ 41-27 advantage on the boards and added three assists.
La Grande (4-6 overall) travels to Pendleton on Tuesday.
Prospectors hand Bobcats first BMC loss
The Union Bobcats boys basketball team suffered its first loss in Blue Mountain Conference play, falling to the Grant Union Prospectors, 59-46, Saturday night in John Day.
The Bobcats hung close most of the game, trailing just 31-27 at halftime and 41-34 after three quarters, but could never get over the top.
Keegan Glenn led the Bobcats with 16 points and 13 rebounds. Tate Lantis added 13 points, and Gannon Carreiro scored six points.
Union (9-4 overall, 2-1 BMC) faces Stanfield at home Friday.
Greer’s big night leads Outlaws to first BMC win
Devin Greer went off for 29 points, including 14 in the first quarter, and the Enterprise Outlaws boys basketball team picked up its first Blue Mountain Conference win of the season Saturday with a 60-43 road win over the Pilot Rock Rockets.
Dylan Marr added 10 points for the Outlaws, who used Greer’s big first half — he had 20 points total — to take a 34-25 halftime lead. The gap reached 43-29 after three quarters and Enterprise never looked back.
The Outlaws (7-8 overall, 1-3 BMC) visit Heppner Friday.
Badgers topple Leopards
Roper Bingham scored a game-high 18 points, Reece Dixon added 15 and the Powder Valley Badgers boys basketball team distanced itself in the second and third quarters to earn a 65-39 road win over the Cove Leopards Saturday in Old Oregon League play.
Moziss Nesser added nine points for Powder Valley, which used an extended 33-12 run spanning the second and third quarters to turn a four-point lead into a 51-26 margin through three quarters.
Blake Witten scored 10 points to lead Cove, while Landon Moore added nine and Dawson Gaertner chipped in with seven.
Powder Valley (8-5 overall, 1-1 OOL) visits Imbler Tuesday, and Cove (7-4, 0-1) hosts Nixyaawii Friday.
McClure, Huskies muzzle Grizzlies
Kaden McClure led the way with 21 points as the Elgin Huskies boys basketball team moved to 2-0 in Old Oregon League play with a 55-36 home win over the Griswold Grizzlies on Saturday.
Ian Smith added 16 points and Tristan Simpson had eight points for the Huskies, who put the game away in the second half after trailing through one quarter and leading just 24-21 at the break.
Elgin (7-3 overall, 2-0 OOL) visits Joseph Friday.
Golden Eagles down Cougars
The Wallowa Cougars boys basketball team dropped to 0-2 in Old Oregon League play with a 66-35 road loss to the Nixyaawii Golden Eagles Saturday.
Stats were not available.
The Cougars (3-9 overall, 0-2 OOL) travel to Powder Valley Friday.
Tigers top Ontario to open GOL play
Hunter Youngblood scored 16 points to lead three players in double figures as the La Grande Tigers boys basketball team opened Greater Oregon League play with a 63-46 road win over the Ontario Tigers Friday night.
Braden Bell added 14 points and Justin Jenner had 12 for La Grande, which controlled the game despite losing post player Kaden Chandler to an injury early in the contest.
La Grande scored 23 points in the second quarter to turn a one-point lead to a 38-26 lead at the half and added on in the second half.
Glenn posts double-double as Bobcats roll
Keegan Glenn led the way with 25 points and 14 rebounds as the Union Bobcats boys basketball team took care of the Pilot Rock Rockets at home in Blue Mountain Conference play Friday, 64-31.
Gannon Carreiro added 11 points, and both Cole McLean and Jace Phillips had seven points for the Bobcats, who pulled away after a tight first quarter. Union scored 20 points in the second to take a 27-14 halftime lead, then broke the game open to take a 47-20 lead through three quarters.
Outlaws suffer close loss
The Enterprise Outlaws boys basketball team was handed another tough-to-swallow loss in Blue Mountain Conference play, suffering a 48-43 home setback to the Grant Union Prospectors Friday night.
Enterprise led after each of the first three quarters, including 36-34 after three, but managed just seven points in the fourth as the Prospectors took over the lead for good.
Riley Masters scored 10 points for Enterprise, while Devin Greer added nine.
All three of the Outlaws’ losses in BMC play have come by five points or fewer.
Huskies put down Cougars
The Elgin Huskies boys basketball team took control with a 13-2 second-quarter run and cruised from there to a 47-32 road win over the Wallowa Cougars Friday in Old Oregon League play.
Kaden McClure and Ian Adams together had 11 of Elgin’s 13 points in the period, which sent the Huskies into the break with a 21-9 lead before they put the game out of reach in the second half.
McClure finished with 20 points, and Ian Adams added seven points.
Tristin Bales led Wallowa with eight points, and both Ryan Hafer and Wyatt Prince added seven points.
Eagles dispatch Grizzlies
The Joseph Eagles boys basketball team opened Old Oregon League play with a 45-35 road victory over the Griswold Grizzlies on Friday.
Joseph held a slim 21-20 lead at the half, but pushed the margin to eight at 34-26 after three quarters and put away the victory in the fourth. Joseph won despite shooting 11-for-26 from the free-throw line.
Mason Ferré led the Eagles with 14 points. Hadley Miller added 12 points — all in the second half — and Kade Kilgore chipped in with seven points.
The Eagles (8-5 overall, 1-0 OOL) host Elgin Friday.
Badgers can’t keep pace with Nixyaawii
The Powder Valley boys basketball team couldn’t keep up with the Nixyaawii Golden Eagles after halftime, as Nixyaawii scored 49 second-half points en route to an
83-52 home win Friday in Old Oregon League play.
Roper Bingham scored 14 points to lead the Badgers, while Reece Dixon had 13 and Dominick Grende added 12.
Powder Valley was within striking distance at halftime, trailing 34-26, but Nixyaawii scored 31 points in the third quarter to take a commanding 65-41 lead.
Panthers take care of Spartans
Grant Slater netted 18 points, Jayce Burnette added 11 points, and the Imbler Panthers boys basketball team opened Old Oregon League action by dropping the Pine Eagle Spartans at home Friday, 51-30.
After the teams traded leads early, Imbler went into the half up 25-19. The Panthers led just 32-28 after three quarters, but put the Spartans away by outscoring them 19-2 in the fourth.
Isaac Herron added seven points for the Panthers (4-6 overall, 1-0 OOL) who host Powder Valley Tuesday.