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Lions pick up win from visiting Gophers

St. Helens gives up a lead, but goes on 10-0 run in fourth to clinch fifth win


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Jared Bonney goes up for a slam dunk during last Tuesday's game with Gresham. The Lions topped the Gophers, 50-39.The St. Helens Lions hustled their way to a win over Gresham Tuesday night, following a team discussion a few days earlier.

Coach Jerry Allen announced later that one of his players, Jake Ramiskey, had left the team for personal reasons.

“He said he couldn’t be half in and half out of games,” Allen said. “I can be pretty demanding and he had personal issues to deal with. I wish him the best. There are no hard feelings. He wants the best for the team.”

Ramiskey had been the Lions’ leading scorer in several of their preseason games.

Allen said the team had a “heart-to-heart talk” recently and aired some issues.

“We had a talk on how we deal with adversity,” Allen said. “I can be a pretty demanding guy. They’ve had to adjust to me and I’ve had to adjust to them. It’s not just me being a tyrant. I want them to come out there and want to get better. That’s what it’s all about. Coach Allen is not a smiley, fun guy. Give me something to smile about.”by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Tanner Long goes up for two during last Tuesday's game with Gresham. Long led St. Helens in scoring with 14 points.

Allen said he’s moderated that some, and taken a step back.

“I want them to ease up and not play so tight,” Allen added. “That’s huge for me to understand as well. I’m a real competitive guy. They know I’m a stand up guy and my heart is in the right place. I had to take a step back. But I’m also a teacher and I had to see it—yelling is not teaching. The heart-to-heart was a good thing.”

Allen said that he’s had some talks with his staff and everyone is in agreement that they are team.

“Stubborn Coach Allen sees things a lot clearer, everyone is feeling better. It was good to get that elephant out of the room in practice. My interest is in them and doing it right. The future looks bright for this team,” he said.

Tuesday the Lions had an early lead against Gresham, but had to hold on for a win at the end. The Lions were led by good efforts from Tanner Long and Nathan Hunter. The team was ahead by as many 11 points in the first half of the contest, but Gresham kept coming back.

The Lions lead was just four at halftime, 27-23, and they were offensively frigid in the third period. The Lions only points came on a three from Devon Jewett. Fortunately for St. Helens, Gresham wasn’t very warm either and the two squads were tied at 30-all going into the final period.

St. Helens bounced back in the final frame, going on a 10-0 run in the first 2 ½ minutes. Hunter scored, Jared Bonney hit two free throws, Cody Galvin dropped in two, and Long added four more points for a 40-30 lead.

Gresham would close to six, but then Bonney hit two inside buckets. A three boosted Gresham with two minutes to play, but a minute later Bonney would emphatically answer an early Gopher dunk and that ended the threat.

Gresham got a technical earlier in the contest, and St. Helens got one in the third on a roster error.

Long would lead St. Helens with 14 points, and Hunter was right behind with 13.

The Lions don’t play again until the Barlow Trail Classic Tournament this Thursday through Saturday. They open with a 2 p.m. game against Westview. Service (Alaska), Skyview (Wash.), Aloha, Evergreen (Wash.), Springfield, and Barlow are in the tournament.

The Lions will play the winner of the Service-Skyview game at 5:30 p.m. Friday if they win or the loser of the same pairing at 2 p.m. Friday. The third-place game is Saturday at 5:30 p.m. and the championship at 7 p.m. Loser’s bracket games are at 2 p.m. and 3:30 p.m. Saturday.

They start league play on Jan. 8 at Liberty.

Scoring:

St. Helens 50, Gresham 39

Gresham 9 14 7 9—39

St. Helens 15 12 3 20—50

Gresham (39)—De’Vauntae Hoffman 8, Austin Spicer 8, Mason McCoy 8, Arango 6, Hardgrove 3, Hamilton 3, Estibar 2, Deyoe 1.

St. Helens (50)—Tanner Long 14, Nathan Hunter 13, Bonney 8, Galvin 8, Jewett 3, West 2, Beisley 2, Bumgardner.