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Vikings return to GVC play with win

Forest Grove scores a 54-40 road win over West Albany

It perhaps wasn’t the sharpest performance of the season, but the Forest Grove boys basketball team resumed Greater Valley Conference play last Tuesday with a 54-40 road win against West Albany.

The Vikings led by 17 points at halftime but allowed West Albany to pull within five during a shaky third quarter. Eventually Forest Grove (9-3, 3-1 GVC) was able to build the lead back up to double digits and pull away for a quality league victory.

“It was kind of a bittersweet win, but any win on the road in league is a good thing,” Forest Grove head coach Greg Evers said. “At times we played pretty well, but we let them back in it in the third quarter. That was a little disappointing.”

Taylor Jensen led Forest Grove with 16 points and 12 rebounds. The senior shot 6-for-7 from the free throw line to help stave off any chance of a West Albany comeback.

Bailey Evers scored 14 points for the Vikings, while posts Griffin Torrence and Bed Godfrey added six and five points, respectively. Sophomore guard Kyle Thompson had only two points on 1-of-6 shooting, but he dished out a game-high six assists in the winning effort.

Last Tuesday’s game was the Vikings’ first since going 2-1 at the Oregon Holiday Hoopfest in Bend over winter break. Forest Grove dropped the tournament opener against host school Summit, 68-56, but bounced back to thrash Gresham, 69-48, and Wasilla (Alaska), 86-57.

“We started off a little rough, mainly because we were playing a good team and we played them on a pretty emotional night,” Greg Evers said, referring to a ceremony prior to the game that honored a Summit player’s father who had recently passed away. “But I thought we bounced back and played pretty well the rest of the tournament.”

In the Vikings’ second-round win over Gresham, Jensen again led the way with 18 points, 12 rebounds, three assists and three steals. Evers added 14 points and eight rebounds, while Hyrum Hansen and Torrence chipped in seven points apiece.

The next night against Wasilla, both Bailey Evers and Jensen exploded for big offensive performances.

Evers drained seven 3-pointers en route to a game-high 25 points, and he also had three assists. Jensen was equally prolific, pouring in 23 points on 9-of-14 shooting, and he added six rebounds, five assists and five steals.

Godfrey had eight points, while freshman Chino Davis came off the bench to score six points, all from behind the 3-point line.

The Vikings traveled to fourth-ranked South Salem (11-2, 5-0 GVC) on Tuesday, but results were not available at press deadline. Next up is a home game against North Salem on Friday at 7:15 p.m.