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Lions split league games with Rex Putnam, Sandy

Lions give league leader Sandy fits in loss; hot third lifts them over Putnam


by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Tanner Long has stepped up as the offensive leader for the Lions. He scored 25 points against Sandy on Friday and had 18 against Rex Putnam.The St. Helens Lions had their moments against league leading Sandy on Friday night, including a frantic comeback in the fourth quarter, but in the end they found themselves with a 50-44 Northwest Oregon Conference loss.

“It was ugly basketball,” St. Helens Coach Jerry Allen said. “Some of them have me baffled.”

The Lions took the initiative at the start of the contest and held a 13-7 margin after one period. Sandy got the message and played near error-free ball in the second and third quarters.

The Lions found themselves down by as much as 14 points in the fourth, but then Tanner Long took the ball in hand to lead a comeback. During one 90-second stretch Long hit three 3-pointers and scored 11 points. He had 15 in the quarter and led the game with 25. The Lions were within three points in the final two minutes of the contest, but Sandy got two free throws in the final 10 seconds to clinch the win. Sandy was 11 for 14 from the free throw line, and had the bonus in the final 6:30 of the game.

“I think we got up on them and thought ‘we got this,’” Sandy coach Jason Maki said. “St. Helens deserves credit, though. They kept playing hard and they made some tough shots. That is what makes them a scary team.”

by: JOHN BREWINGTON - St. Helens' Corey West goes up for a shot during last week's game with Rex Putnam. The Lions beat RP, but lost to Sandy on Friday.“We’re just getting the ball to the wrong guys,” Allen noted. “We’ve depended on some guys to score in the past, but they aren’t doing it. We have to get the ball to the guys that are scoring. We’ve gotten so accustomed to losing (in the past) that when we get behind we tighten up. We keep waiting for the bottom to fall out.”

“These are some great young men and we’re working on it,” Allen added. “We’re trying to teach them how to play the game the right way.”

He felt the team should have won against Sandy, and also should have beaten Wilsonville a week earlier. He said it’s a learning process and a commitment process for the program. Sandy was happy to escape with a win.

On Tuesday last week the Lions earned a 60-41 victory over visiting Rex Putnam.

The game was a lot closer than the eventual 19-point margin. St. Helens had found itself down by five late in the first half, but buckets by Long and a free throw from Cody Galvin tied the game just before the break.

It was Long, the game's leading scorer, that put St. Helens back in front for good. He hit back-to-back threes and the Lions led 31-25. Long finished the game with 18. Galvin would follow with a three, and Nathan Hunter's deuce made it a 36-25 game. The Lions kept plugging away. They would have three more threes in the period, one by Gage Bumgardner and two by Jared Bonney. The Lions led 52-34 going into the fourth.

The win upped St. Helens to 2-3 in conference play, but they dropped to 2-4 with the loss to Sandy on Friday.

St. Helens hosted Liberty on Tuesday and Parkrose visits on Friday. The squad travels to Sherwood next Tuesday.

Scoring:

St. Helens 60, Rex Putnam 41

Rex Putnam 10 13 11 7—41

St. Helens 10 13 29 8—60

Rex Putnam (41)—Koleh Mitchell 10, Spencer 9, O'Dell 7, Kristensson 6, Brown 5, Hager 4m Hamilton, McCarthy, Helmes, Foster, Vadelund.

St. Helens (60)—Tanner Long 18, Jared Bonney 10, Galvin 9, Hunter 9, Bumgardner 7, West 4, Beisley 2, Dummer 1, Enyart.

Sandy 50, St. Helens 44

St. Helens 13 4 4 23—44

Sandy 7 11 15 17—50

St. Helens (44)—Tanner Long 25, West 8, Hunter 4, Galvin 3, Dummer 2, Bonney 2, Beisley, Bumgardner, Jewett.

Sandy (50)—Jacob Groom 20, Justin Admas 12, Rowe 5, Rynaksi 5, Short 4, Turin 2, Teneyek 2, Ford, McCrea, Robison.

Tuesday, Jan. 22

St. Helens 60, Putnam 41

Milwaukie 59, Sherwood 46

Sandy 59, Liberty 40

Parkrose 63, Wilsonville 60

Friday, Jan. 25

Sandy 50, St. Helens 44

Putnam 61, Liberty 56

Milwaukie 95, Parkrose 74

Wilsonville 43, Sherwood 40

Tuesday, Jan. 29

Liberty at St. Helens

Sherwood at Putnam

Sandy at Parkrose

Wilsonville at Milwaukie

Friday, Feb. 1

Parkrose at St. Helens

Sandy at Milwaukie

Putnam at Wilsonville

Sherwood at Liberty

Tuesday, Feb. 5

St. Helens at Sherwood

Liberty at Parkrose

Milwaukie at Putnam

Wilsonville at Sandy