Close game finally goes Pros' way

My ball. Grant Union's Adam Kowing (24) goes high to snatch a rebound away from Enterprise's Cole Phinney. The Eagle/Tim Adams

JOHN DAY - It's been a season of frustration for the Grant Union High School boys basketball team.

The Prospectors have lost seven games this season by three points or less including five in league play, the most recent being a 54-51 overtime defeat by Vale on Friday, and were on the verge of being eliminated from district playoff contention when they squared off against Enterprise on Saturday, Feb. 5.

The never-say-die Prospectors rallied from a 41-37 third quarter deficit behind the play of Nolin Page and eight points from Toby Thomas to come away with a 55-53 victory over the Savages.

The win gives Grant Union a 3-5 league record with two games remaining on the schedule, and the Prospectors still have a chance to earn a spot at the district playoffs set for Feb. 18-19 in La Grande.

"The best thing about it is we control our own destiny," Grant Union coach Brad Smith said. "We have two huge games next week and if we can get both of them, we'll finish third. Our goal is to get to the tournament."

Grant Union took a 5-0 lead to open the game before Enterprise went on a 9-0 run.

Enterprise held a 13-9 advantage at the end of the first period until a pair of three-point baskets by Eli McClure and two Adam Kowing free throws late in the second knotted the score 24-24 at halftime.

The Prospectors took a 29-26 lead in the third quarter thanks to Page's five straight points, but Enterprise answered with a 6-0 run and held a 41-37 lead heading into the final eight minutes of the game.

Adam Kowing and Thomas opened the fourth quarter with baskets to tie the score and Chance Ferguson followed with a hoop to give the Prospectors the lead for good.

Late in the contest Page was able to draw a key charging foul, and a pair of Thomas free throws with six seconds remaining sealed the victory.

Page scored a game-high 12 points for the Prospectors. Kowing had 11 and Thomas was the third player in double figures with 10.

Lugi Dellarole and Tony Swart led Enterprise with 11 points each.

Grant Union hosts Union on Friday, Feb. 11, and closes out the regular season on Saturday at Elgin.

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