Sandy suffers gut-wrenching defeat against St. Helens
Northwest Oregon Conference
5A Boys Basketball
SANDY — In a game where it looked like Sandy was in complete control, the Pioneers couldn't finish the job down the stretch.
St. Helens came back from a double-digit deficit in the second half and went onto defeat Sandy 64-61 on Friday night.
"This game was the perfect summary of our season. We had some moments where we were as good as we have been all season and then some moments where we were as bad as we've been all season," Sandy head coach Jason Maki said. "We had some turnovers where it seemed like we just threw the ball to the other team."
Sandy's Kaleb Hubbard had a game-high 18 points for the Pioneers while St. Helens was led by Joe Rea, who scored 17 points and made five of his shots from downtown.
"Everybody started playing together and trusting each other to get to our spots," St. Helens head coach Jordan Massinger said. "I felt like we got down on ourselves in the first half and Sandy was able to capitalize. But we played with heart and dug deep to find that extra gear in the second half."
Sandy scored 97 points in their home matchup with the Lions last season and the way this game started, it seemed like that was a possibility once again. The Pioneers played at a frenetic pace early on with Hubbard doing most of the damage for Sandy in transition. The sophomore scored the first seven points of the game and forced the Lions to burn a timeout in opening minutes.
But Hubbard would continue his lights-out play all throughout the half as he scored all 18 of his points in the first 16 minutes.
"I was just trying to stay focused and keep my energy up," Hubbard said. "I was being really aggressive going to the hoop and I was able to find my shot."
Look for extended coverage in the Jan. 24 print edition.