The Grant Union Prospectors ended their season in third place at the Friday-Saturday Blue Mountain Conference District Tournament held at the Pendleton Convention Center.
Grant Union entered the contest seeded No. 2 and fell 58-49 on Friday to the No. 3-seeded Union Bobcats.
It was the third time the Prospectors had faced the Bobcats. Grant Union defeated Union 59-47 on Jan. 5 in John Day. Then the Prospectors fell 58-45 on Jan. 18 in Union.
Grant Union was down 21-17 in the first quarter of Friday’s game. Then the Bobcats scored 16 in the second while holding the Prospectors to 4 points.
“We started chipping away at their lead in the second half, but they were making 23- to 24-foot shots,” said Grant Union head coach Kelsy Wright. “Union hit 12 out of 25 three-point attempts (overall).”
He said his team was rattled when Union went on their offensive attack, and although they outscored Union 12-8 in the third and 16-13 in the fourth, they were unable to close the gap.
Tristan Morris, a junior, led the Prospectors with 22 points, followed by seniors Tanner Elliott with 10 and Jacob Vaughan with 8.
Grant Union had hoped to improve on their sixth-place finish at state last year, and Wright said the loss to Union was a disappointment.
The Prospectors followed up with a 55-37 win over Stanfield. Grant Union freshman Mason Morris was named player of the game.
Tristan Morris was named to the BMC All-League first team and Vaughan and Elliott were each named to the second team.
Wright said his team started off the season slow with some key losses, but he was pleased with how they developed over the season.
“I believe these boys progressed extremely well,” he said. “Overall, I’m proud of all the boys.”
He added his athletes were coachable, and he was happy with their work ethic.
Wright said Elliott showed extraordinary growth this season.
“We should be looking competitive next year, Wright said.
Grant Union stats vs. Union
Jacob Vaughan: 8 points, 5 rebounds, 1 assist, 4 steals
Tanner Elliott: 10 points (2-4 free throws), 4 rebounds
Devon Stokes: 4 points, 1 rebound, 2 assists, 1 block, 1 steal
Mason Gerry: 3 points (1-2 free throws), 8 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 block, 1 steal
Tristan Morris: 22 points (two 3-pointers, 2-4 free throws), 11 rebounds, 1 assist, 1 steal
Warner Robertson: 2 points, 1 rebound
Jordan Hall: 2 assists