The Grant Union Prospectors overcame the formidable Enterprise Outlaws 64-54 on Friday in John Day.
After being down 12-11 in the first quarter, Grant Union came back for a 4-point lead in the second.
Prospector Tanner Elliott hit 5 of 6 free throws, and Tristan Morris and Devon Stokes both landed 3-point shots. Grant Union led 34-30 going into halftime.
The intensity went up several notches in the third for the Prospectors as they scored 21 points while holding the Outlaws to 7.
Jacob Vaughan sank two 3-pointers for Grant Union, and Elliott and Morris scored 4 points each. Stokes scored off a steal, and Taylor Hunt added 2 when Vaughan picked up the Outlaw’s loose ball.
Enterprise outscored Grant Union 17-9 in the fourth, but the Prospectors continued to battle for the 10-point win.
“We’re getting closer to the end of the season,” said Grant Union head coach Kelsey Wright. “We had all week to prepare and saw where their weak spots were. We were in the right places at the right time.”
He said his team was ready for everything Enterprise, led by head coach Larry Wells, threw at them.
Wright said Elliott did a great job with rebounding and “always working hard on the floor,” and Vaughan “was shooting the ball well and played great defense.”
Elliott led the Prospectors with 18 points for the night, followed by Morris and Vaughan with 15 each. Outlaw Cason Kirkland had a game-high 19.
Vaughan said it was a big win.
“We played well as a team, and everyone got involved and passed the ball well,” he said. “We played hard — we knew it was a must-win if we wanted to go into districts as No. 2.”
Grant Union sealed that No. 2-seed to the Blue Mountain Conference tournament on Saturday, defeating the Stanfield Tigers 56-42 on the road.
The tournament takes place on Friday-Saturday, Feb. 15-16, at the Pendleton Convention Center.
The Prospectors face the Union Bobcats, the No. 3 seed, in game one at 1 p.m. Friday, and the winner will play the No. 1-seeded Heppner Mustangs on Saturday. The winner of that match will be tournament champion and the No. 1 seed to state, and the loser will be the No. 2 seed to state.
The loser of Friday’s game one will face the winner of the 6 p.m. Friday game between Stanfield (No. 4) and Enterprise (No. 5), and the winner will place third in the tournament but not continue to state.
Grant Union vs. Enterprise
Tanner Elliott: 18 (8-11 free throws)
Jacob Vaughan: 15 (two 3-pointers, 1-4 free throws)
Tristan Morris: 15 (one 3-pointer, 2-4 free throws)
Devon Stokes: 8 (one 3-pointer, 1-3 free throws)
Jordan Hall: 4 (one 3-pointer, 1-4 free throws)
Mason Gerry: 2 (2-2 free throws)
Taylor Hunt: 2