After four straight quarters of a tie score, Colton falls in overtime for their third loss in a row. But they still have plenty of time to make the playoffs

PIONEER PHOTO: CONNER WILLIAMS - Colton senior Evan Rasor jumps up to send in an acrobatic layup dagainst Gervais on Jan. 16. If it wasn't clear enough during last Tuesday's game that the Colton and Jefferson boys' basketball teams were evenly matched, then the scoring summary surely shows it: they tied in every quarter, resulting in a stalemate the led to an overtime dual.

Jefferson came out on top in overtime, however, as they outscored the Viks 11-8 to take a 63-60 PacWest Conference win, handing the Viks their third loss in a row.

"I thought we competed really well' we knew [Jefferson] was a team coming in hot, winning four games straight including a big win over Salem Academy, so we knew it was going to be a challenge," head coach Brandon Kishpaugh said. "It's the first game I can remember being part of where it was tied after every quarter."

"I think we played well enough to win 95 percent of the game, but whenever we would have a chance to pull away or at least put more pressure on them, we would have an untimely turnover or lapse on defense," Kishpaugh said.

Colton had just two more turnovers on the game than Jefferson, but shot just 17 percent (three for 17) from beyond the arch while the Lions hit 33 percent of their three-point shots (seven for 21). Jefferson also found themselves at the free throw line more, making 12 of 22 attempts, while Colton saw just five points from free throws.

"Ultimately, we had too many [turnovers] to overcome in addition to shooting really poorly from three; however, I thought that we didn't force [shots] like we had been early in the year, we just didn't hit the good shots we took," Kishpaugh said.

Seniors Evan Rasor and James Parker led with 23 and 18 points, respectively, while senior Dawson Hall picked up ten points and eight rebounds. Junior Javontae Maes gave a strong defensive performance with 14 rebounds (11 defensive) and four steals.

"I have been happy with our team's effort over the last three games despite coming away with losses; I think we hit our stride a few weeks ago, and I don't know if we are wearing down due to lack of depth or what the problem is, but we have placed a focus on ball control under pressure and working to get good shots," Kishpaugh said. "I have been pleased with our work and progress over the last week of practice and feel good about our chances to close out the season on a strong note."

Colton currently sits in fourth place in the Pac West Conference with a league record of 3-4 behind Salem Academy in third with a 5-3 record. There's still plenty of time to vie for the third-place spot as five league games remain.

"This has been a challenging yet rewarding season; we've had to work hard every single game, and I am proud of how much we've improved, especially the younger guys who didn't have much, if any, varsity experience," Kishpaugh said. "We are squarely in the league playoff race, and [I] believe if we play to our potential, we will give ourselves a chance to make the final 16 for state, which would be a tremendous accomplishment for this team and these seniors."

Up next for the Vikings is a home matchup against no. 4-ranked Blanchet Catholic (17-3, 8-0 PWC) on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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