JOHN DAY Avenging their 49-56 loss to Enterprise on Dec. 27, Grant Unions Prospectors holstered the Outlaws 68-58 last Friday.
The win came on the strength of a double-double and electrifying shot-blocking from Jacob Legg.
Coach Steve Speth and the rest of the coaching staff obviously had hit the play book hard, as the Pros found an answer for every offensive and defensive strategy thrown at them by the Outlaws.
A no-look assist from Joey Nordstrom from the top of the key to Kody Nelson put the first points on the scoreboard.
Legg ignited the home crowd, and intensified the action early in the first quarter with repeated block shots. The fired-up Prospectors shot out to an early lead, as Legg sat down for a quick break.
Enterprises perimeter game started to heat up as the Outlaws hit 10 unanswered points to take a 14-10 lead at the end of the first quarter.
As the second quarter began, Speth saw his team slipping behind and called a full timeout. That turned out to be a pivotal moment, as the game became more physical and emotional for the players and the crowd.
The Prospectors tightened up the defense, and started reading the Outlaw passes better, picking off three in a row to chop down the Enterprise lead. Nordstrom alone had a 7-0 run, which led to a 27-27 tie at the half.
Nordstrom hit a 3-pointer as the second half started, and the crowd exploded. Then Mitch Moulton hit another 3, and the Prospectors went on an 8-0 run, forcing Enterprises coaches to call timeout.
The Outlaw coaches preached back-door cuts ... more movement on offense, but the Prospectors were prepared to answer the Enterprise strategy.
At the end of the third, the Pros held a comfortable 17-point lead, with the score 52-35.
Enterprise made a run in the fourth quarter, paring the lead to 7 on two occasions, but opportunities at the line allowed the Prospectors to hold onto the lead.
With the crowd on its feet and yelling, and the Enterprise coaches calling out to the referees, the head ref called the first technical of the game. Enterprises head coach was hit with a technical, but wasnt ready to back down. Less than 10 seconds later, a second technical was called, this time against the assistant coach.
Moulton, one of the best free-throw shooters in the state, hit the technical shots to put the Prospectors up by 10 with just 1:31 left in the game.
To cap off the victory, Nelson hit a pair of free throws to give the Prospectors the win.
The victory gave the Prospectors a 6-2 league record. Grant Union will have another matchup against Enterprise on Feb. 9.
The Prospectors will be back in action at 7:30 p.m. Friday, Jan. 18, against Irrigon, and will travel to Weston-McEwen to face the TigerScots at 5:30 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19.
Nordstrom 26 points; Legg 14; Moulton 9; Nelson 8; Dalton Reimers 6; Rayce Houser 3; Braden Witty 3.
Legg 13 rebounds; Nelson 5 assists; 6 steals.
The Prospectors traveled to Union last Saturday and outran the talented Bobcats 69-60.
The Union game was big for us to stay strong in the league standings, said head coach Steve Speth. Union is a tough place to play.
The Prospectors opened up the game with a tight man-to-man defense to try to cool down the Bobcats shooting guards, especially Brazin Wellington.
Unions formidable front line gave the Bobcats an early lead, but the Prospectors surged back with high-intensity defense and solid execution on offense.
Kody Nelson led the Prospectors on a 17-12 run as the first quarter ended.
A perfect shooting percentage from the line allowed the Bobcats to cut the Prospector lead to 1 at the half.
After halftime, the Prospectors went on a scoring spree, extending their lead to double-digits again.
Grant Union ran into foul trouble in the fourth quarter, when Unions Wellington took advantage of mismatches and scored 12 points.
Grant Unions guard matched Wellingtons 12 points and hit clutch free-throws late in the game to seal a 69-60 victory.
The break down
Nelson 23 points; Moulton 14; Legg 13; Nordstrom 12; Reimers 3; Houser 2; Colton Madden 2.