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Quick start fades for summer team

Sandy scores the first 11 points before falling 48-43 to Barlow


by: SANDY POST: PARKER LEE - Sandys Austin Gorski finds his way to the basket through the middle of Barlows defense. GRESHAM — Last week's summer basketball game against Sandy could not have started worse for Barlow. The Bruins couldn’t score and they couldn’t stop the Pioneers. Barlow proved that what matters most isn’t how you start, but how you finish.

The Bruins shrugged off its sluggish start to take down Sandy, 48-43, in Tuesday’s summer basketball game.

The Pioneers came out on fire and dashed out to an 11-0 lead midway through the opening quarter, aided partially by Barlow’s inept scoring force. Austin Gorski did the bulk of the damage for Sandy as he hit shots from the paint and the perimeter. He tallied nine points during the early run.

When the Pioneers went up by double-digits, Barlow coach Tom Johnson called timeout and the team refocused. Wesley Becker got the Bruins on the board by drawing a foul on a drive to the rim. He sank the layup and made his foul shot to convert the three-point play. Parker Joncus added a bucket on the next possession to cut the deficit to six points.

Out of the timeout, Barlow implemented a full-court press defense. After the makes by Becker and Joncus, the Bruins forced Sandy into a few turnovers with their pressure. That led to a few easy hoops and Barlow cut the lead to three points by the end of the period.

Gorski opened the second quarter with a 3-pointer from the point, but Barlow went on an 11-2 run after that to go up by three. The game was back-and-forth for the rest of the way.

The two squads traded a series of field goals in third quarter and neither could pull away. When the final period commenced, the game was knotted at 35-35. It was then that Sandy could have used another run like the one it had to start the game, but its offense sputtered. The Pioneers scored just six points on three field goals in the last 7:30.

Sandy picked the worst possible time to go cold, but a lot of that had to do with what Barlow was doing defensively. The Pioneers didn’t have many good looks at the hoop, and when a man did get open, they couldn’t find him.

Barlow’s offense also hit its stride in the fourth. The Bruins had their best scoring quarter of the game, led by Caden Nelson. Nelson scored six straight points in the first few minutes of the quarter that turned a 37-37 tie into a 43-37 Barlow advantage. Sandy narrowed that margin to two points twice, but never erased it entirely.

Sandy did get an opportunity to tie the game in the concluding minute. After twice fouling Barlow to stop the clock, the Pioneers advanced the ball up the court facing a three-point deficit. Sandy’s deep 3-point attempts to tie it were off the mark and Barlow’s Nathan Hunter sealed it for the Bruins with a layup in the final seconds.

Nelson led all scorers and paced the Barlow offense with 17 points. Becker made two 3-pointers on his way to a 10-point night while Joncus pitched in with eight points.

Gorski had a team-high 14 points for the Pioneers. Sandy’s Zach Gilbert added 10 points, all of which came in the last 10 minutes of the second half.