Third-quarter rush comes up short for Pioneers
6A BOYS BASKETBALL
Mount Hood Conference
|#6 Barlow Bruins|
The Barlow boys basketball team survived a second-half Sandy surge, turning back the Pioneers 62-56 on Wednesday night to finish alone atop the Mount Hood Conference standings.
The Bruins took a 16-point lead into halftime only to see Sandy storm back largely on the shoulders of center Tanner Brewster. He floated across the lane and used a soft touch off the glass to sink a shot while fading to his left. Teammate Chet Chamberlain poked the ball loose at the other end, and Brewster cashed it in with a 3-pointer — one of four long balls on the night.
Barlow took a minute off the clock, patiently hunting out a good look at the basket only to have a 3-point try come up short. Chamberlain took the rebound and fed Brewster at the other end for another bucket.
Barlow coach Tom Johnson called time out.
But Sandy kept coming.
Brewster blocked a Bruins' shot, and Kaleb Hubbard hit a 16-footer from the left side of the floor. Sandy's Joey Wagner drew a charging call in the backcourt to force another turnover, and Hubbard drove the lane for a layup.
Late in the third quarter, the Pioneers were within three points.
"It wasn't ideal, but we are a veteran group, so there was no panic. We knew we still had the lead," Barlow senior Evan Inglesby said.
The lead was about to double.
The Bruins were holding for the last shot of the quarter with Jaren Hunter holding the ball near the Barlow bench. Sandy had defenders draped all over Barlow's top threats in Inglesby and Jesse White.
With time ticking down, it was time for Hunter to make a choice.
He faked a pass to Connor Hills in the corner of the floor, pulled the ball back and launched a 3-pointer himself. The shot ripped the net at the horn to send the Bruins into the fourth quarter up 46-40.
"They were all over Jesse and Evan, and I saw Connor off to the side," Hunter said. "He's a bigger shooting threat, so the defender went his way and that left me wide open for a shot."
Hubbard gave a pump fake on a 3-pointer from the top of the arc, then whipped a pass inside to Colby Carson for a layup. Roeder went up high over a defender to putback a rebound at the rim.
Midway through the fourth quarter, Carson came up with a steal, and Hubbard put on a spin move along the baseline to get to the rim, bringing Sandy within 50-46.
That was as close as the Pioneers would get.
Barlow took command down the stretch, highlighted when Josh Nomie found Hunter cutting through the lane. He powered through a grab on his arm and finished the three-point play for a 10-point lead with 2:57 left.
Barlow's White and Inglesby combined to go 4-for-5 at the free-throw line in the final minute. Inglesby applied the knockout punch when he jumped a pass at the top of the arc and threw down a dunk.
"Give Sandy a lot of credit for battling back — that was a real gut check for us tonight," Barlow coach Tom Johnson said.
Inglesby led the Bruins with 17 points, while Hunter finished with a season-high 14. Brewster led all scorers with 27.
Barlow (18-6) has won 13 straight heading into its first-round playoff game against West Salem tonight.
Sandy earned one of the final wildcard spots and will take on PIL-champion and No. 3-ranked Jefferson at 7 p.m. tonight.
The teams traded the lead seven times during the early stages of play before Hunter swished a pair of 3s from the top of the arc to push Barlow to a double-digit lead midway through the second period.
The lead would grow to 16 points by halftime.
Brewster finished with a game-high 27 points, while Hubbard added 17. That duo combined to knock down seven 3-pointers.
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6A GIRLS BASKETBALL
Mount Hood Conference
A slow start doomed the Pioneers in a 60-21 loss at Barlow last Wednesday.
The Bruins scored off the opening tip with Libby Mathis tapping the ball ahead where teammate Melanie Hiu ran onto the bouncing ball for a layup. Hiu would strike again with a steal-and-score that pushed the Bruins in front 8-0 barely two minutes into the game.
Early in the second quarter, Barlow's Maicee Bradley came off the bench and scored seven points in barely a minute that had the Bruins up 29-6.
"We got that team energy up and it set us up for success," Bradley said. "Everybody came in — it was a total team effort."
By the end of the night, seven Bruins had scored multiple buckets.
Defensively, Mathis commanded the paint either blocking shots or knocking away entry passes. Sandy players were simply not allowed anywhere near the hoop. The result was that Gentry Turin led Sandy with five points — she was the only Pioneer to make more than one basket.
"The first thing is I'm a lot taller, but I can also see in a player's eye when they are wanting to score, then I come over and swat it away," Mathis said.
The Bruins kept pouring it on after the break with Hiu firing a 3-pointer that clipped the back of the rim, hovered high over the hoop and dropped through the net. On the next trip, she faked a 3, took a dribble inside the arc and buried a 15-footer for a 46-10 lead midway through the third quarter.
Sandy (8-16) finished tied with Centennial for fifth place in the Mount Hood Conference.
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This story is scheduled for our March 4, print edition.
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