Imbler def. Grant Union 93-86
JOHN DAY - Six players scoring in double figures combined with a 29 for 40 effort from the free throw line proved to be the difference in the game as the Imbler boys topped Grant Union 93-86 in a high-scoring, Wapiti League basketball shoot-out on Friday, Jan. 31.
Grant Union's up and down league season continued, and the loss dropped the Prospectors' record to 4-3 in league games and 5-12 overall.
The Prospectors started the game out in impressive fashion taking a 22-15 lead after the first quarter of play, but the Panthers came back with 29 points in the second quarter to hold a 44-40 halftime advantage.
"This was the best we've shot the ball all season," Grant Union coach Mike Workman said. We knew going in that Imbler was going to be a tough team. Our kids played exceptionally well, and this was a tough one for them to lose. Our downfall in the game was our inability to rebound, which has been a problem for us all year, and we're going to have to get better at it."
Grant Union battled back in the third period behind a 10-point effort from Trevor Simmons to tie the score at 63-63 when Matt Curtis drilled a last-second three-pointer shot.
However in the final period, the Panthers exploded for 30 points to put the game away.
"We gave them just too many second-chance opportunities to score," Workman said. "When they'd miss a shot, we'd either foul them or they'd put the ball back in."
Bo Thunell scored a game-high 26 points including four three-pointers to lead Grant Union. Simmons added 18 points, and Billy Colson scored 13.
"Bo had an exceptionally good game. He was 4 of 5 from three-point range and went 8 for 8 from the free throw line along with four assists. That was something to see from a sophomore," Workman said
Tanner McIntosh scored 22 points for Imbler. Ethan Davis had 19, Travis Hoskins 15, Colin Culbreth 13, and Trevor Crow along with Troy Hoskins scored 10 points each.
Grant Union def. Union 51-41
UNION - The Prospectors bounced back from Friday's loss picking up their first road victory of the season with a 51-41 win over Union on Saturday.
The win lifted Grant Union into a tie for third place in the Wapiti League with a 5-3 record.
"It was a struggle Saturday night," Workman said. "We left everything we had on the floor Friday and we didn't get our tanks completely refilled. We didn't shoot the ball very well against Union, but we rebounded a lot better and played good defense."
The Prospectors went into the game shorthanded with Adam Kowing hobbled with an ankle injury, but Workman said Andy Ellison stepped up and did an outstanding job on defense.
"Andy did a great job against Union's leading scorer, Jeremy Shankel. He shut him right down until the fourth quarter," he said.
Both teams played evenly in the first quarter before Grant Union put up 16 points in the second period to take a 30-23 halftime lead.
The strong Prospector defense held the Bobcats to just 18 points in the second half, while putting up 21 points to secure the victory.
"It was a close game until we were able to go on a 10-0 run in the second half," Workman said. "This was our first win on the road, and it gave the kids a lot of confidence. They know now that they are able to win games out of town."
Simmons led the Prospectors with a game-high 14 points and 15 rebounds. Colson scored 13 points and Thunell had 12 in the balanced scoring attack.
Grant Union plays at Elgin in a 3 p.m. game on Friday, and returns home on Saturday to face Nyssa in a 1 p.m. matchup.
"This is going to be a key weekend for us. We need to come away with two wins," Workman said.