STANFIELD A triple-overtime thriller over Stanfield 79-75, and a 55-39 thumping of Heppner put the Grant Union Prospectors at 10-4 in league, with a chance to clinch the No. 3 spot and an automatic trip to state.
After a decisive win over Heppner last Friday the Pros were led by Joey Nordstrom, who had his first breakaway dunk of the season Grant Union hit the road for a game that would make the record books.
Against Stanfield, the Prospectors jumped to an early 5-0 lead and stayed in control for the first half of the first quarter. Stanfield was able to cut the lead to 13-10 at the end of the first quarter.
In the second, Grant Union surged ahead, but Stanfield again answered back and took a 1-point advantage at the half.
The two teams traded buckets for much of the third quarter, and the lead never exceeded more than 5 points. With a minute left in the third, Prospector head coach Steve Speth called a timeout to emphasize the importance of closing out at the end of quarters.
They responded with a perfectly executed play for a 3, and with a great stop and another offensive possession to score, said Speth.
The fourth quarters theme echoed the third. Back and forth surges and lead changes continued as the game came down the home stretch.
Tied and with time running out, the Prospectors were unable to convert on three attempts, and the game went into its first overtime.
In the first overtime, the teams traded high-pressure shots, keeping the game close and excitement high.
With six seconds left, the Prospectors were down by two; Nordstrom missed a layup attempt but managed to get the put-back with just 1 second left, forcing the game into the second overtime.
Stanfield started the second overtime with a 3-point heart-breaking shot, but the Prospectors responded with their own offensive strategy, evening up the score and forcing the game into the third overtime.
We took control with patient offense and good defense, and rebounding, said Speth.
Critical free throws, a season-high 18 points from Rayce Houser, critical plays from Kody Nelson, and a late 3-pointer for Mitch Moulton added up for the Pros.
They claimed a 4-point victory in the triple overtime contest, earning a spot in Grant Union basketball history.
The coaching staff of Grant Union was extremely proud of how the boys handled the adversity and pressure of the games, said Speth. They showed competitiveness and stamina and held their composure in a hostile environment under tremendous pressure.
The Prospectors will clinch third place in the league if they get a win in either of two games this weekend. They host Union at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Feb. 8, and travel to play Enterprise at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.
Nelson 20 points, Moulton 19, Houser 18, Nordstrom 15, Jacob Legg 7.
Rebound leaders: Legg 12, Nelson 12, Reimers 10
Assist leaders: Nelson, Reimers, Legg had 3.