JOHN DAY Mitch Moulton and Kody Nelson combined for 33 points, leading the Prospectors to a 58-49 win over Union last Friday, Feb. 8, and a 68-66 thriller over Enterprise on Saturday, Feb. 9.
Despite a dry first quarter, the Prospectors were down by only 2 to start the second quarter. Midway through the second, the tempo picked up with the Prospectors and Union trading buckets.
The Prospector air raid continued as Jacob Legg and Dalton Reimers delivered two monster blocks within two minutes of play.
Low field-goal percentages plagued both teams as the first half ended, the Prospectors leading by 3.
Tight defense continued as the third quarter began.
Unions motion offense created problems for the Prospectors, as the Bobcats continued to hit jumpers from the corners of the key.
Unions offense was designed to work against man-to-man defenses and is a patterned offense featuring passing, screening, ball-reversal, options and counters. Most scoring opportunities for Union came off the cut inside, or a jump shot from the elbows.
The lead went back and forth until 5:33 in the fourth quarter, with the Prospectors starting to get better looks at the basket.
With 4:13 remaining in the fourth, the Pros called a timeout to emphasize offensive patience waiting for good shots and not forcing them.
Down the stretch, the Prospectors took the upper hand and extended their lead to 9 points as the final buzzer sounded.
Moulton 20 points, Nelson 13, Nordstrom 12, Jacob Legg 6.
Legg led in rebounding with 13, Nelson had 5 assists and 2 steals.
After the win over Union, the Prospectors hit the road for their last league game, winning a nail-biter and sealing the third spot in the league.
Foul trouble plagued the Prospectors. Three starters were forced to sit on the bench during the second quarter.
Despite that and some poor shooting, the Prospectors led 40-29 at the half.
Enterprise fought back in the third quarter to take a commanding 55-42 lead.
As the clock ran down, a Prospector surge brought Grant Union back in the game. With a few key scoring possesions by Moulton and Dalton Reimers, the Prospectors evened up the score with 10 seconds left.
A 3-point play from Nelson put Grant Union ahead by 3. Joey Nordstrom was fouled on a contested rebound and hit one for two at the line, giving the Pros a 4-point edge.
The Outlaws made a last layup as the buzzer sounded.
The Prospectors came away with another down-to-the-wire victory.
Another great road win in a very loud, packed gym, said head coach Steve Speth.
The win sealed the third spot in the league, one game away from second place, for the Prospectors going into the district tournament.
The Prospectors will play Pilot Rock in the first round of the District Tournament at 2:45 p.m. Friday, Feb. 15.
The 2-A districts will be held Friday and Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at Blue Mountain Community College in Pendleton. The top five teams are invited to the tournament. The first day the No. 4 seed plays the No. 5 team. The loser is removed from the tournament; the winner qualifies for the state tournament and plays on day 2. The No. 2 team plays the No. 3 team. The winner plays for the championship, and the loser plays the No. 4 and No. 5 game winner for third and fourth place. The top four teams go to state.