First half defensive struggle turned into an offensive showdown as the Buckaroos scored 46 points in second half

As both teams came back out onto the court after halftime in Friday's boys' basketball matchup between Colton and St. Paul, one might have though there were two different teams than the ones that showed up in the first half.

The first two quarters of play were very much a defensive battle for both teams as the Vikings led just 20-18 at the half, but by the time the fourth quarter rolled around, it was still neck-and-neck as both teams had more than doubled their scores, with St. Paul leading 41-40.

Colton led 17-13 with less than two minutes left in the first half after senior Kreygan Raasch hit a long two, followed by a three-pointer from junior Chance Ritchie to make it 20-15 with a minute left. But St. Paul was able to close that lead as junior Justin Herberger hit for three just before the buzzer rang to keep it within two going into the break.

Both teams came out firing in the third as Colton senior Dawson Hall answered a Buckaroo field goal with a three to keep a three-point lead, and senior Evan Rasor connected for a layup shortly after. But St. Paul was able to take the lead 31-28 after a layup from junior Jaidyn Jackson followed by a fast break and-one layup from senior Holden Smith as he sunk the free throw.

Rasor had something to say about that, however, as he connected for three with 3:30 left in the quarter.

Jackson countered with his own three as Colton junior James Parker and Rasor drove the basket again for four more points to take the lead back 35-34, but Jackson connected again for three to keep a two-point lead. As the Bucks took a 41-point lead after hitting another three-pointer, Ritchie sunk his free throw after drawing a foul on his layup to keep the game to one point heading into the fourth quarter.

The Viks got into foul trouble early as they hit eight team fouls less than two minutes in, sending the Bucks to the line as they knocked down their free throws. St. Paul pulled away 53-41 with 5:10 left to play as Colton struggled a bit to connect and the Bucks continued to hit their free throws and see a final score of 64-52.

Up next for Colton are the Harrisburg and Junction City tournaments; the Viks will head to Harrisburg High School on Thursday. Dec. 7 to take on the Eagles at 7:15 p.m. and will then travel to Junction City High School to take on the Tigers at 5:45 p.m. on Friday followed by Siuslaw at 2 p.m. on Saturday.

St. Paul will travel to Gervais on Wednesday to take on the Cougars at 6 p.m., and will then play in the Wildcat Challenge at Southwest Christian High School on Friday before hosting Colton on Tuesday, Dec. 12 at 7 p.m.

Conner Williams
Sports Reporter/News Contributor
503-829-2301 ext. 341
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