Lions stumble, lose play-in to Pendleton
Team nipped by Sandy, struggles at Pendleton
The St. Helens Lions gave Sandy a hard-fought game to finish league play last week, but couldn't pull it all together on a long road trip to Pendleton last Friday for a play-in game.
The Lions would have advanced to the 5A state playoffs if they had been able to win at Pendleton. The team came away with a 57-43 loss and coach Jerry Allen felt the Lions didn't quite play as well as they might have.
'We played a little intimidated,' he said. 'We never really settled down and were out of our comfort zone. We haven't really had someone step up and have someone to rally around. The person I thought could do it was sitting out for the game. We had no one to stand up to the bully-they were looking around for someone to do it.'
The Lions quickly fell behind the Buckaroos in the first period and found themselves down by 11, 30-19 at the half. They sliced that margin to just two points in the third period with a 20-11 rally, but could only manage four points in the fourth period.
Brandon Underwood was the only Lion in double figures, scoring 13.
'We have three guys with a little bit of the ability to lead, but it comes from three of them, not one,' Allen added. 'We can't run by committee.'
The Lions have all but one player back on their team next season, and Allen thinks the team can find some leadership with some work this spring and summer.
Sandy 71, St. Helens 69
St. Helens fought back against Sandy last Tuesday after falling seven points behind in the first period. They were down just five at halftime, and by just three going into the fourth period. They outscored Sandy in each of the last three quarters, but ended up two points short in a 71-69 loss.
'We started off slow,' Allen said. 'Sandy came out and played well and we didn't defend like we should have. We didn't contain their big gun and then another kid started playing well. Some of that was my fault, I told (the team) to force them to shoot from the perimeter and they hurt us from (out there).'
Allen said his the Lions didn't win as many games as he wanted them to. It was his first year coaching the squad.
'It's been a learning experience for both of us,' he said. 'I didn't know what type of kids we have out here in St. Helens. We have to cultivate some of the toughness that teams like Sherwood and Pendleton displayed.'
Allen said he wanted some better leadership and he need to work on getting some kids to step up.
'I've got to teach our guys how to play when they are down. Do you give up or keep playing scrappy,' he wondered.
The coach said he would be working with his players this spring and summer on their play, and would try to get some of them on AAU teams.
Sandy 71, St. Helens 69
St. Helens 12 14 15 28-69
Sandy 19 12 13 27-71
St. Helens (69)- Jared Bonney 17, Brandon Underwood 15, Nathan Hunter 14, Ramiskey 13, Tanner Long 8, Beisley 2, Galvin.
Sandy (71) - Justin Adams 22, Jacob Groom 19, Brandon Ford 13, Brad Martin 6, Blake Robison 5, Justin Lamer 4; Ryan Cargill 2, Zach Nisbitt, Dylan Rynaski.
Pendleton 57, St. Helens 43
St. Helens 8 11 20 4-43
Pendleton 15 15 11 15-57
St. Helens (43)-Brandon Underwood 13, Ramiskey 9, Long 7, Bonney 5, Hunter 5, Galvin 2, Bumgardner, Jewett.
Pendleton (57)-Deon Davis 21; Isaiah Moses 13, Madison 12, Polhamus 8, Anderson, Beard 2, Alger.