Milwaukie rides second-half wave to 51-40 home win over La Salle Prep
Two different Milwaukie boys basketball teams took the court for Friday's home game against La Salle Prep.
For most of the first half, Milwaukie couldn't do much of anything right.
Then in the second half, the Mustangs could do little wrong.
Milwaukie's Keshawn Myles scored 10 of his team-high 15 points and helped ignite a tenacious, on-ball defense that helped carry the Mustangs to a 51-40 come-from-behind win.
Alileyon Ford added 13 points and Colten Corder chipped in seven as the No. 8-ranked Mustangs (10-4, 3-1 NWOC) erased a 15-point, second-quarter deficit and snapped a six-game losing streak in their series with the Falcons (5-9, 1-3).
Trailing 31-19 at halftime, Milwaukie outscored La Salle 15-3 in the third quarter and pulled into a 34-34 tie when Jalen Mey scored on a lay-up with an assist from Myles with 50 seconds to play in the quarter.
In the fourth quarter, Mey struck again when he drove from the left corner into the middle of the lane for short, pull-up jumper that put the Mustangs in front for good, 38-36, with 6:05 remaining.
La Salle's Jake Owens knocked down two free throws to cut Milwaukie's lead to 42-40 with 2:20 left, but that was as close as the Falcons could get.
Three of La Salle's next four possessions ended with turnovers, fueling a 9-0 Milwaukie run over the final 1:41 that sealed the decision.
"In the locker room at halftime, we said, 'We've got to turn this up. We've got to play Milwaukie basketball,'" said Mey, the Mustangs' junior post. "In the second half, we started playing our game, we got the momentum, and we came out with the 'W.'
"Shout out to La Salle They played their butts off today."
La Salle Prep's Nic Boyd scored 14 of his game-high 17 points in the first half for the Falcons, who opened their largest lead at 31-16 when Ian Simmons knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing with 1:20 left in the second quarter.
The game got away from the Falcons in the third quarter when they came away empty on eight of nine possessions, going 1 for 3 from the field and 0 for 2 at the free-throw line with five turnovers.
"We just got too antsy and turned the ball over too much," said Boyd, the Falcons' junior guard. "Milwaukie took away some of what we wanted to do, but we got some of the shots we wanted. It was 50-50.
"We were just out of it the second half and they played hard, which got them the win."
One of Milwaukie's biggest adjustments at halftime was to pay closer attention to Boyd after he knocked down five of his first seven shots, including a pair of 3-pointers.
"We talked about keeping No. 11 (Boyd) from getting to the rim," Mustangs coach Donnie Law said. "In the second half, we put some different people on him. We put Keyshawn on him a little bit, we put Colton on him, we put Alileyon on him, and I thought changing things up threw him off a little bit."
It wasn't just Boyd who was off his game in the second half. It was all the Falcons.
There was one stretch in the third quarter when La Salle got whistled for a traveling violation, a moving screen, a double-dribble, and a five-second violation — four turnovers that were the result of Milwaukie's pressure and some sloppy execution on the Falcons' part.
"We turned up the energy and started playing like we know how to play," Milwaukie senior Mason Plumb said. "La Salle has shooters and they made some open shots in the first half, but then we came out and pressured them and made them drive to the rim, which they couldn't do.
"It felt really good. We look to do that every night. Some nights, we don't, but most nights we look to play hard like that."
With the win, Milwaukie remained tied with Parkrose for second place in the NWOC, one game behind league-leading Wilsonville.
La Salle dropped into a four-way tie with Hillsboro, Scappoose, and St. Helens for fifth place.
League play is scheduled to resume Tuesday when Milwaukie travels to Wilsonville, while La Salle plays host to Scappoose.
LA SALLE PREP 16 15 3 6 — 40
MILWAUKIE 8 11 15 17 — 51
La Salle Prep (40) — Nic Boyd 17, Robertson 8, Owens 6, Simmons 5, Taylor 2, Crowley 2, Jacobson, Rosumny, O'Brien, Hortaleza.
Milwaukie (51) — Keshawn Myles 15, Ford 13, Corder 7, Mey 6, McCord 4, Plumb 3, Law 3, Penaloza.
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