Creswell, Sports Zone

Bulldogs earn memorable 2OT win

CRESWELL – It was a game for the ages. Not so much, maybe, for the aged.
In a heart-pounding, back-and-forth double-overtime thriller Friday night at Oakland, the Creswell boys basketball team escaped with an 82-76 road victory.
”I’ve played in some pretty loud games and I’ve coached at some pretty loud games, some of them in that same gym,” Bulldogs head coach Jesse Thomas said.
”On Friday night, it was a packed house that was so loud, you could feel the gym shaking. It was the best high school basketball atmosphere that anyone could ask for,” he said.
Creswell led by six at the end of the first quarter and by eight points at halftime.
Oakland climbed back into the game, and with regulation time expiring and the score tied, Tyler Frieze missed for one of the few times that night, sending the game into its first overtime.
Late in the second OT, Creswell led by three points when the Oakers sank a 3-pointer with 1.5 seconds left.
It was on to the second overtime period.
Only a minute into the second OT, Creswell’s defense forces Oakland star Mason Gill into his fifth foul, forcing him to leave the game.
”Once that happened, it took the wind out of their sails a little bit and we were able to capitalize on it and stretch it into more points to wrap up the win,” Thomas said.
Frieze led the Bulldogs with another showcase performance of 37 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals, three days after scoring 24 of the team’s entire 36-point total against Sutherlin.
Senior guard Kai Apo recorded his first double-double of the season with 17 points, 11 rebounds and 7 steals (Apo missed out by one rebound against Waldport on Dec. 10). Dallton Dewey ended with 16 points, 5 rebounds and 3 steals.
”Over the last couple years, one thing that our team has struggled with is overcoming adversity,” Thomas said.
”When we get down or when a team goes on a run, we’ve caved in the past. It happened multiple times where Oakland would hit a big shot or make a huge play but we didn’t slip.
”Our guys didn’t crumble and instead found a way to battle back.”
The coach said this kind of game could be a season-changing event. It will be important to build on it, he emphasized.
”I really believe that Oakland was one of those games where if you’re not able to hang on and come out with a win, it could have a huge affect on the rest of your season.
”Moving forward I think that we will be able to look back on that game and know that was a huge one for us. I know it took a couple of years off my life or at the very least added a few gray hairs.”



View this profile on Instagram


The Chronicle (@thechronicle1909) • Instagram photos and videos