Bowmen outlast West Salem in overtime
SHERWOOD — Adversity.
The Sherwood High School boys basketball team certainly had to deal with some Tuesday night.
The Bowmen got off to an ice-cold shooting night from the field. They were plagued with some foul trouble. And, as time was running short — really short — in the fourth quarter, they found themselves facing a 3-point deficit.
But Sherwood was able to overcome all of that adversity, as well as a determined West Salem squad.
The Bowmen, getting a clutch, game-tying 3-pointer from sophomore Asher Krauel to tie the game late in the fourth quarter, and then pulling away in overtime, scored a 65-59 win over the Titans in a non-league game played at Sherwood High School.
"This was huge, facing some adversity," said Sherwood junior guard Jamison Guerra, who led all scorers in the contest with 25 points. "The past couple of games, we really haven't faced that much adversity, so this was good. We need these kind of games to help us down the path to a long season."
"Oh, this is really big," Sherwood senior post Charlie Bulfinch said. "We just played really physical tonight. "We were composed. Even though we were down three (late in the fourth quarter), we were just silent."
With the loss, West Salem moved to 3-3 on the season. With the win, their sixth straight, the Bowmen improved to 7-1.
"I'm not thinking about our record," Bulfinch said. "I'm just thinking about playing as hard as we can every game. That's what everyone is thinking about, every game."
"We just have to stay being the hunters," Guerra said. "People want to take us down now, because of our win streak, but we have to just keep a chip on our shoulder and not get too cocky."
Sherwood did get off to a slow start to the contest. West Salem ended the opening period on a 10-2 run, giving the Titans a 14-10 lead going into the second quarter.
The Bowmen missed their first nine shots from the field in the period and, after West Salem got a pair of free throws by sophomore Jackson Lowery, they trailed the Titans 20-13 with 3 minutes and 49 seconds left to play in the first half.
But, with Guerra sinking four straight free throws, Bulfinch connecting on a short-range banker and with senior Tyler Hix making a 3-pointer, Sherwood would rally to take a 24-23 halftime lead.
Sherwood senior Braden Thorn got going in the third quarter, scoring 10 points in the period. Guerra added six points and Krauel sank a 3-pointer. Still, the Bowmen held just a 43-41 lead going into the fourth quarter.
That's where things really got interesting.
Sherwood opened a 50-43 after Guerra sank a pair of free throws with 5:54 left to play in the game. But West Salem battled back to tie the game, at 54-54, when junior Justin Scoggin made a 16-foot jumper with 1:49 remaining. The Titans, getting a free throw by Lowery, followed on a basket on a drive to the hoop by Scoggin, claimed a 57-54 lead with 35 seconds left to play.
But that didn't seem to bother Sherwood — and the Bowmen had a plan.
"We were calm," Guerra said. "We trust Asher. He's clutch — I love that kid."
Sherwood, down three, got the ball to Krauel in the right corner, and he came through, swishing a 3-pointer to tie the game, at 57-57, with 19 seconds left to play.
"We were very confident in Asher," Bulfinch said.
West Salem got a buzzer-beating attempt by Scoggin, but his shot, from 16 feet away, bounced off the rim, sending the game to overtime.
And, in the extra session, Sherwood wasn't going to be denied.
Just 30 seconds into the 4-minute overtime, Bulfinch fired a cross-court pass to Krauel, who, again was in the right corner. And, again, he was nothing but net on a 3-point shot, giving Sherwood a 60-57 lead.
The Bowmen led the rest of the way. Getting a basket on a drive by Guerra, a free throw by Bulfinch and two foul shots by Guerra, Sherwood pulled away for a 65-59 victory.
"We got into the paint and we nailed our free throws," Guerra said. "It came down to defense and toughness in the end, and that's what did it for us."
"We just stayed composed the whole time," Bulfinch said of overtime. "We didn't worry about the score, we just kept competing and kept crashing the boards."
Speaking of crashing the boards, Bulfinch seemed to do that all night for the Bowmen.
"I take pride in crashing the boards and being as physical as I can," Bulfinch said with a smile.
In addition to scoring his game-high 25 points, Guerra had five assists, four rebounds and four steals in the victory. Thorn had 11 points and six rebounds. Krauel had nine points and seven rebounds. Bulfinch also scored seven points, and Hix scored six.
Sherwood, as a team, made 19 of 57 shots from the field, with nine 3-pointers, and 18 of 24 free-throw attempts.
Scoggin led West Salem with 16 points. Junior Kieren Pruitt added 15 for the Titans, and Lowery had 14.
West Salem, as a team, made 23 of 55 shots from the field, with three 3-pointers, and 10 of 15 free-throw attempts.
Sherwood will return to action Thursday, when it plays Westview at 7 p.m. at the Les Schwab Invitational, The Eight, being held at Liberty High School. The Bowmen will also play at the tournament Friday and Saturday.