Grant Union boys top Nyssa, seize third place

Grant Union's Matt Curtis (No. 20) drives to the basket past Nyssa defender Mitch Holliday for two points in the Prospectors 78-65 win over the Bulldogs on Saturday. Curtis scored seven points in the game as Grant Union upped its season record to 7-3 in the Wapiti League. The Eagle/TIM ADAMS

Grant Union def. Nyssa 78-65

JOHN DAY - A 26-point Grant Union second quarter blew the game open, and the Prospectors went on to pick up a big Wapiti League basketball victory on Saturday, Feb. 8. The team rolled to a 78-65 win over Nyssa to avenge an earlier-season defeat at the hands of the Bulldogs.

The victory moved the Prospectors into sole possession of third place in the league with a 7-3 record.

Nyssa dropped its second league game of the season to fall to 8-2.

"It was a big weekend for us, and we were able to get a sweep with the win over Elgin on Friday night, which was something we've been looking for since the first of the season," Grant Union coach Mike Workman said. "Tonight was a great win for us. Nyssa is the No. 2 team in the league and beating them gives our kids a lot of confidence going into the final weeks of the season."

The Prospectors held a narrow 13-12 lead after the first quarter before getting the offense on track in the second period.

Grant Union's shooters were hot from the outside in the second quarter, lighting up the net with a pair of three-pointers by Bo Thunell and another by Billy Colson.

Thunell finished the game tied for high-scoring honors with 22 points.

"Bo Thunell has become a great floor-leader for us and he directs the ball around," Workman said. "He has taking up some of the scoring load and has been feeding the ball to the shooters in the right spots on the floor."

With the 26-point eruption, Grant Union carried a 39-25 lead into the locker room at halftime.

The Prospectors remained hot from the field in the third quarter tacking on an additional 20 points to hold a 59-47 advantage heading into the final eight minutes of action.

Nyssa battled back in the fourth quarter shaving the lead to 10 points on two occasions, but could draw no closer.

"The kids played hard and we had a lot more energy tonight than I thought we'd have after making the long trip to Elgin on Friday," Workman said. "Nyssa has a good team and it was good for us to come out and play like this tonight. We pretty much controlled the entire game took the lead and then held on to it. We have a big weekend coming up going to Pine Eagle on Friday and then we've got Enterprise here on Saturday. Those two teams are still in the hunt for a playoff spot."

The Prospectors put together a balanced scoring attack with Trevor Simmons scoring 12 points, Andy Ellison adding 11 points and Adam Kowing chipping in with 10.

Mitch Holliday scored 22 points to lead Nyssa, and Mike Fuentes had 15.

Grant Union def. Elgin 63-40

ELGIN - The Prospectors took a 13-6 lead after the first quarter of play against the Huskies on Friday, Feb. 7, and cruised to their sixth Wapiti League victory of the season, 63-40.

Grant Union tacked on another 17 points in the second quarter to build a 30-19 halftime lead.

In the third period, the Prospectors put the game away with 20 additional points while holding Elgin to 11.

Simmons and Thunell tied for game-high scoring honors with 11 points each. Taylor Schmadeka had 10 and Colson scored nine, all coming on three-point shots.

Grant Union plays at Pine Eagle on Friday, Feb. 14, and squares off against Enterprise on Saturday, Feb. 15, in the final home game of the season.

Tip-off time for the Pine Eagle game is 6 p.m., and the Enterprise game is set for 3 p.m.

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