David Douglas holds on for 64-63 win over Forest Grove
Too little, too late.
Despite a feverish comeback over the game's final three minutes, the Forest Grove boys basketball team came up a point short in a 64-63 nonleague home loss to David Douglas Friday night, Dec. 13, at Forest Grove High School.
The Scots got 21 points from senior guard Jermaine Robinson, none bigger than the three he scored to break a 61-61 tie with 15 seconds remaining in the game.
Following a Braden Hudgins lay-in that tied the game with 20 seconds left in the fourth quarter, Robinson took the inbound pass and quickly drove the floor, getting to the basket, drawing a foul, and finishing at the rim amidst a sea of Viking defenders.
Despite conventional wisdom that might lead a number of coaches to call a timeout in that situation, David Douglas' head coach Chad Reeves knew better, and as a result let Robinson work his magic.
"He knows what he's doing because he's a three year varsity guy," Reeves said. "So down the stretch; one, it's nice that he wants the ball; two, when people are backpedaling it's probably a better play than I can draw up. To his credit, he recognized that and got to the hole."
Robinson didn't think twice when asked his thoughts in that situation. He knew what he was going to do, and he simply did it.
"Just go," Robinson said. "I was going, man."
The Scots hopped on Forest Grove early, jumping out to a quick 12-4 lead and ultimately a 23-8 advantage after one quarter. The Viks were hamstrung for much of the opening quarter when standout point guard Guy Littlefield picked up his second foul just two minutes into the game. In his absence, Forest Grove was forced to slide Hudgins to the point, and without their veteran playmaker on the court, the Vikings committed seven turnovers in nine possessions.
They got it back a bit in the second quarter, cutting the lead to nine just before the half thanks in large part to seven points from senior wing Ryan Kribs. David Douglas responded however, getting a late bucket from Trenton Templeton to put the Scots ahead 33-22 at the break.
"We were terrible early," Forest Grove head coach Greg Evers said. "But we kept it reasonable and credit to the kids for showing some grit and hanging in there."
It was more of the same in the third quarter, with the Scots repeatedly getting buckets in the paint from Jason Cooke, Trenton Templeton, and even Nassir Pedraza, who only scored two points, but led the team with seven rebounds.
The Vikings kept within shouting distance, getting their points from a slowly resurgent Littlefield, post James Irvine, Roman Miller, and even sophomore Lucas Ellington. Despite the effort however, Forest Grove couldn't close the gap and trailed 50-37 heading to the fourth quarter.
Reeves couldn't have been happier with his team's performance to that point, and spoke glowingly about the execution on both ends of the court.
"In that first half, that was probably the best we've executed our offense this year," the Scots coach said. "And defensively, we got up in the passing lanes and created some good fast break opportunities. We were real good for three quarters."
Then they weren't.
Forest Grove cut the lead to nine, then seven when Hudgins and Littlefield scored 10 quick points to open the fourth. Then, by way of a little pressure and a somewhat frenetic offensive pace, the Viks pulled within 59-53 with 1:00 to play, reaping the rewards of defensive pressure that was undoubtedly paying dividends.
"I think they (David Douglas) got a little tentative because they were trying to hold the ball," Evers said. "They were trying to burn the clock and that happens. You turn it over a couple times, we make a couple shots, then that pressure mounts."
And it got worse for the Scots before it got better.
After a Robinson score made it 61-53, Littlefield cut it to six with a quick basket, Irvine finished a put-back to make it four, then after another Littlefield score cut it to two, Hudgins tied it 61-61 off of a nifty inbound play following a turnover created in the backcourt by the Vikings defense — setting up Robinson's game-winner.
The Vikings had two 3-point attempts to tie it in the last 10 seconds, but Hudgins was ultimately forced to score inside, cutting the lead to one. Forest Grove then fouled Josiah Collins with 1.4 seconds left and the sophomore guard missed both before a last second Vikings heave missed to end the game.
"I'm proud of the guys' fight," Evers said. "I told them afterwards that now they have to learn. They can hear us, but change has to happen before that learning can take place. So hopefully we can fix stuff."
Reeves was obviously ecstatic about the win, but was equally excited about what could be in store for his team going forward.
"I love this team," he said. "This team is coming together. Someone new steps up every night and the way these kids compete has been really run. It's been encouraging to see them buying in and going hard."
Robinson agree with his coach.
"We've struggled in past years, but this year the chemistry is there, the bonding is good and I'm having so much fun with this team," he said. "I'm really excited."
And Forest Grove? It's a work in progress, but also one that Evers said is coming along, despite the loss.
"We're getting there," said the coach. "We're learning and the young kids are getting more comfortable, so we'll just keep on working."
Littlefield and Hudgins led the Viks with 18 points and 11 rebounds combined. Irvine added 10 points, Kribs added seven, and Miller five.
In addition to Robinson's 21 points, Cooke tallied 18, Templeton 10, and Collins eight for David Douglas.
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