MANSON – Oroville’s boys basketball team won its second game against Manson in a three-day period on Saturday, Jan. 28, using a suffocating full court press to break the game open early on the way to a 76-58 victory.
The defensive pressure paid off with plenty of scoring early as the Hornets ran up a 28-13 first quarter lead and held onto the margin through the first half.
“We played as a team for the first time in a while and it showed,” said Oroville coach Allen Allie. “Our guys protected the ball much better and cut our turnovers down which gave us more looks at the basket.”
Michael Garrett scored 32 points, but Allie said his scoring didn’t really stick out.
“It shows a team effort,” he said. “C.J Mathews had a triple double and Zack Speiker had a double double. (They) were great on the boards.”
Luke Kindred also limited the Trojans’ leading scorer, Javier Guillen, to seven points.
“I have a hard time singling out any one player tonight because each kid did a great job on defense, making assists and protecting the ball,” Allie said. “(That) was the way need to play from here on.”
Speiker added 16 points and Mathews had 12, making up for foul trouble that saddled Connor Hughes througout the game.
“I was proud of the effort and poise our kids kept during the game,” Allie said. “Connor probably played half the game because of fouls. We need him on the floor for his defense and offense. He is a big part of what we do.”
Alex Vanderholm led Manson (7-8, 2-6 CWL North) with 15 points.
The Hornets (10-5, 5-2) played winless Bridgeport on Tuesday and host Brewster in a key league contest on Saturday, Feb. 4. Oroville is in good shape to make the post-season, with a three-game lead over fifth-place Pateros and Liberty Bell, but needs to make a solid push in its final league contests to avoid a first round matchup with state power White Swan at the district tournament.
Oroville 77, Manson 64
OROVILLE – The Hornets hosted Manson on Thursday, Jan. 26, after a two-day weather delay and used big runs in the first and third quarters to pull away to a 13-point victory over the Trojans.
Garrett scored 22 points, Mathews had 12 and Kindred scored a season-high 13.
“We were trying to focus on team basketball and I think we succeeded,” Allie said. “Our defense went a little south on us in the second and third quarters but we were able to regain our pressure in the fourth.
“We need to be able to come up with four quarters of pressure defense if we plan on playing in the post-season.”
The Hornets had a seemingly comfortable lead late in the first half before the Trojans reeled off 10 quick points in the final two minutes before halftime.
“Lazy defense,” Allie said. “Our offense … was much better tonight than it has been in recent games. We have been playing a lot of one-on-one lately so the focus was on making five passes before any shot attempt. We did a decent job of that tonight.”