Jack Callahan is fouled in the paint during the fourth quarter of the La Pine game. GINI DAVIS
The Bulldogs opened Mountain Valley Conference play with a 73-56 win over the visiting La Pine Hawks on Jan. 5. They also edged host 4A Sutherlin, 56-52, in a nonleague contest on Jan. 2.
Trey Magnuson paced Creswell in both games, posting 21 points and eight rebounds against Sutherlin, and 19 points, four rebounds and five assists against La Pine.
Creswell toughed out a 19-12 lead at the end of the first quarter of the fast-paced, physical La Pine game, and extended that to 37-23 at halftime and 44-25 after the third period.
”Chance (Bellew) hit two threes and Tyler (Frieze) and Tayler (Forsman) each hit one in the second quarter to blow things open,” said Creswell Head Coach Jesse Thomas.
With 21 assists as a team, ”We were moving the ball well,” he added. ”Guys were getting high-percentage shots and knocking them down.”
The Dawgs shot 26-for-44 on field goals and 5-for-16 from three. They were 8-for-13 from the line.
Following Magnuson, Bellew contributed 11 points to the win. Eli Ream, in his first game back, scored 10; Frieze added nine and Forsman had eight.
”We had balanced, well-rounded scoring,” Thomas said. ”Eli played well in his first game back; Tyler’s coming along; and our young guys are playing big-time minutes and making contributions,” he added, citing Gauge Smith, ”who’s played excellent since the Santiam Christian game at Salem Academy,” Austin Gabriel and Kai Apo.
At Sutherlin, Creswell led 13-11 after one but trailed 24-27 at halftime and 34-39 after three before outscoring Sutherlin 21-13 in the final period.
Creswell made 17 of 34 field goals and 17 of 22 free throws, versus 11 of 22 for Sutherlin. ”We were finally on the other side of poor free throw shooting,” Thomas said. ”That helped – and we also had nine offensive rebounds for eight second-chance points.”
Behind Magnuson, Bellew had 10 points; Forsman had nine points and five assists; and Jack Callahan had four rebounds and three assists.
Playing without Ream and Frieze, with Callahan in foul trouble and Magnuson out for half of the fourth quarter with a hand injury, the win was ”a full-on team effort,” Thomas noted, with Smith adding four key fourth-quarter points.
League play continues this week as the Bulldogs host Pleasant Hill and travel to Glide.