Forest Grove boys open season with 73-58 win over North Salem
The Forest Grove boys basketball team got things started with a bang, defeating North Salem 73-58 in their long-awaited season opener Tuesday night, Dec. 7, at Forest Grove High School.
The Vikings used a well-rounded offensive attack to pull away from the Mid-Willamette Conference visitors, who are also the Vikings, with three Forest Grove players scoring in double figures and eight scoring in all.
Senior Trevor Cannon led all scorers with 20 points but was part of a group effort that first-year head coach Marc Roche said his team will lean on going forward.
"I think we can score in a lot of different ways and we have a lot of guys on the bench that shoot the ball real well," the coach said. "I definitely think that will be a strength of ours, being able to share the ball and on different nights, different guys are able to step up."
The Vikes return just two starters from last year's team, Lucas Ellington â€“ who scored 10 points and grabbed six boards in the opener â€“ and Jake Stepenpohl who didn't play due to injury, but expect key contributions from returners Cannon and senior Ryder Davis, along with newcomers Tyler Rebsom, Kaden Clute, and point guards Afton Milton and Ka'ena Kaulia.
Roche said the team has had little time to play and practice since last offseason, and considering him being new to the program and without extended practice time, he was mostly pleased with how the team performed in their first action of the season.
"I wasn't really sure what to expect," Roche said. "We have a lot of things to clean up and certainly plenty of things to continue to work on, but for our first game I'm pretty pleased. We did a good job of moving the ball and finding the open guy, and we were able to get a lead and maintain it."
Forest Grove led 13-8 after a quarter and 36-28 at the half, thanks in large part to Cannon who scored 12 first-half points. That lead grew to 13 after three quarters as Cannon, Davis and Milton combined for 16 points.
It was more of the same in the fourth quarter as the Vikes seemed to further relax, creating transition opportunities off of a swarming defense.
Afterwards, Roche said the lack of rebounding was a concern, but said that's something they'll continue to work on going forward and that's one of the beauty's of this group of players â€“ their willingness to listen and work.
"There are so many coachable moments right now because it's so early and they're getting used to me and our system," Roche said. "But the guys made some nice adjustments tonight and they're so coachable. These guys work and compete."
Trevor Cannon 20
Ryder Davis 17
Lucas Ellington 10
Afton Milton 7
Kaden Clute 7
Charles Funk 6
Ka'ena Kaulia 4
Tyler Rebom 2
Justin Hoover 13
Ivan Primbs 11
Jacob Giovanni Ramirez 9
Dalton Ayres 7
Juan Garibay 6
Francisco Hernandez 6
Isaiah Razo 3
Josiah Davis 3
You count on us to stay informed and we depend on you to fund our efforts. Quality local journalism takes time and money. Please support us to protect the future of community journalism.