The Chronicle -

By Gini Davis
The Creswell Chronicle 

Bulldogs roll over Hawks, bow to Billies


February 14, 2019

Christopher Palanuk/The Creswell Chronicle

Bulldogs Tyler Frieze makes a two point jump shot during the third quarter of the Creswell vs. Pleasant Hill game on Feb. 6. The Creswell Bulldogs lost against the Pleasant Hill Billies 58-63 and have a current overall record of 18-5.

In Mountain Valley Conference boys' basketball action last week, the 11th-ranked Creswell Bulldogs blasted the visiting La Pine Hawks, 74-48, on Feb. 4, but were nipped by the fifth-ranked Pleasant Hill Billies, 58-63, on the road on Feb. 6.

Against La Pine, the Dawgs rolled to a 15-7 first-quarter lead and held a 41-21 halftime advantage. They outscored the Hawks 13-2 to lead 54-23 after the third quarter.

"We played pretty well; we got off to a good start and rolled all the way through," said Creswell Head Coach Jesse Thomas.

With their starters and regular rotation players out most of the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs were outscored by the Hawks 20-25, but still cruised to a comfortable win.

"Everybody scored in that game," Thomas noted. "It was nice to get the younger guys and guys who don't get a lot of playing time that extended run."

Kai Apo paced Creswell with 13 points – 11 in the first half – and seven rebounds. Tyler Frieze scored 12 points and Dallton Dewey added 11.

"Dallton is usually one of our first guys off the bench, if not the first, and he's really played pretty darn well this year," Thomas said. "He's our instant offense energy guy; he's been really solid."

Avery Wells had five points in the fourth quarter; Austin Gabriel had seven rebounds.

At Pleasant Hill, the score was tied 14-14 after one. "Andrew Spence scored a three on our first possession and got us going," Thomas said.

Creswell was down one at halftime, 29-30 and trailed by a field goal, 41-43, after three.

"It was really close the whole way," Thomas said, noting that the teams each made 19 field goals.

It was the Billies' 33 free throw attempts to the Bulldogs' five that told the tale.

"They did a really, really good job of drawing foul calls and we didn't; it seemed like they were shooting free throws every other possession, and we couldn't find an answer to that," Thomas said. "That discrepancy was brutal."

The other deciding factor was Billies point guard Stephen Parmenter, who exploded for 32 points.

"Tayler (Forsman) did a good job of making him take tough shots, but he made them," Thomas said. "We just didn't have an answer for him. He's tough to guard, and that's what the best players do - they really step up in important games."

Dewey paced Creswell with 15 points; Frieze had 14 points and five rebounds; Forsman had 11 points; Gauge Smith had seven points and five rebounds; and Gabriel added five boards.

Logan Pruitt added 16 points for Pleasant Hill.

"We really played well; I was very pleased," Thomas said. "Sometimes you can play really well and still not win the game."

Pleasant Hill and second-ranked Santiam Christian (both 9-1) are tied for first in league standings: A tie that will be broken to decide the league championship when the two teams meet again this week. With no league playoffs slated, they will be the MVC's first and second seeds to state.

But the Bulldogs aren't out of it yet: "We're ranked 11th, so we should make it into first-round state playoffs (as the highest-ranked team not to earn a state bid from their own league)," Thomas said. "We'll know on Saturday."


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