Grant Union def. LaPine 82-71
JOHN DAY - The Grant Union boys' basketball team put together a balanced scoring attack on Saturday, Dec. 21, with five players in double figures to collect their first win of the 2002-2003 season.
Billy Colson scored 15 points to pace Grant Union while teammates Bo Thunell added 12, Matt Curtis 11, and Trevor Simmons along with Adam Kowing hit for 10 points apiece as the Prospectors upended LaPine 82-71.
The victory avenged a defeat at the hands of the Eagles in the Prospectors' first game of the year on Dec. 7.
"We needed a win, and the kids played real hard tonight," Grant Union assistant coach Brad Smith said. "We had a balanced scoring attack, and all the kids shot the ball well."
The Prospectors (1-5) held a slim 13-11 lead after the first quarter of play before exploding for 27 points in the second quarter to take a 40-32 halftime advantage and never looked back.
"We were able to move the ball well and the kids also did a good job on defense," Smith said.
LaPine tried to recover in the third period, putting 22 points on the board, but the Prospectors stayed hot and scored 22 points of their own in the final quarter while holding the Hawks to 17 to put the game away.
Andy Meshke scored a game-high 28 points to lead LaPine. Teammates Travis Webster and Mike Banks hit for 19 and 11 points, respectively.
Class 3A opponents score on Prospector boys' team
TURNER - The size and strength of Class 3A opponents, Cascade from the Capital League and Banks from the Cowapa League, proved to be too much for the Grant Union boys basketball team to handle at the Cascade Tournament on Dec. 27-28.
With two of their tall players out of the lineup, the undersized Prospectors dropped a 76-37 decision to Cascade in the opening round on Friday before losing 55-51 to Banks in the third-place game on Saturday.
The two losses dropped Grant Union preseason record to 1-5.
Cascade def. Grant Union 76-37
Grant Union coach Mike Workman said the Prospectors were simply up against too much size in Friday's matchup with Cascade.
"Geoff Brown didn't make the trip and B.J. Eddy was hobbled with a bad foot," Workman said. "As a result, we couldn't get a rebound at either end of the court."
The Cougars were hot from the field in the first quarter putting 20 points on the board and added another 10 over the second eight minutes of play while holding the Prospectors to just four, to carry a 30-11 halftime lead.
"They had a big, physical team," Workman said. "We suffered from a lack of rebounding, committed too many turnovers and shot the ball poorly."
The Cougars scored an additional 21 points in the third quarter to up the lead, and added 26 in the fourth quarter to put the game away.
Trevor Simmons was the only Prospector in double figures, hitting for a game-high 20 points.
Banks def. Grant Union 55-51
In Saturday's third-place game against Banks, Workman said the Prospectors had a chance to win the contest but couldn't get their shots to fall late in the game.
"Again we lacked the size and we had no inside game at all, so we became a perimeter team," he said. "We were a little tentative and we couldn't seem to shoot against them."
The Braves held a 17-11 lead after the first quarter before the Prospectors mounted a rally in the second quarter to shave the lead to 32-29 at halftime.
"We took care of the ball a little better in this game but poor shooting hurt us once again," Workman said. "They sat back in a zone defense and we couldn't get our shots to go down from the outside."
Banks pushed the lead to four points, 48-44 at the end of three quarters of play, and then held on to claim the victory as each team scored seven points in the final quarter.
Simmons scored 17 points to lead Grant Union with Bo Thunell and Adam Kowing chipping in with eight points apiece.
"The kids played hard and never gave up in either game," Workman said. "I'm not concerned with our record right now, but what we need to do is start playing consistently and get healthy."
Grant Union travels to Milton-Freewater on Friday, Jan. 3, to face Mac-Hi and winds up preseason play on Tuesday, Jan. 7, at Burns.