Amity boys 16-0 run crushes Westside

By ROCKNE ROLL

Of the News-Register

AMITY – It took a brief conversation, a short moment in time, to turn a close game into a complete blowout. But the effects of that one moment were devastating.

There were four minutes left in the first quarter of the Warriors’ Class 3A West Valley League game with Westside Christian, and the Eagles had just taken an 8-7 lead. Head coach Justin Amaya didn’t like the energy he was seeing. He asked for time out.

It took 30 seconds to change everything.

“We were just tight and slow,” he said. “I said ‘Get after it. Get the crowd into it.’”

Instantly, Amity’s defensive intensity magnified. Westside’s next possession ended in an Amity steal to layup. After that, Lance Nelson swiped another steal high above the three-point arc, ran uncontested to the far end and dunked with authority.

Like that, the crowd was “into it.”

“That started an effect throughout the game. It just kept rolling, through the second quarter and through the half,” Amity senior post Justin Bobbett said. “Once we got the “defense’ chant going, it helped out a lot.”

The chants and screams of the crowd built louder and louder as Amity opened a 16-0 run through the end of the quarter, punctuated by two more dunks from Nelson, a transition alley-oop from Devin McShane in transition and back-door-oop from Colby Graham in a half-court set.

“There were three or four minutes where we were just standing and screaming because it was back-to-back-to-back,” Bobbett said.

The momentum couldn’t be stopped – not by the first quarter horn as the score was 23-8 and not even by a half time that saw Amity’s lead balloon to 24 points.

“You could see the place explode. We just blew up,” Amaya recalled. “It was the best our defense has looked all year. It was the best first half performance I’ve seen from an Amity played I’ve seen from Lance.”

Nelson scored 24 of his 26 points in the first half, while Jamie Stull added 15 of his 17 in the first half, including a pair of three-point plays. Amity recorded 13 assists on 19 field goals in the first half and racked 20 steals on the night. McShane scored 15 on the night, including three triples.

Nelson did not play past the middle of the third quarter and most of the other starters came out early in the fourth. Amity scored 20 bench points in the second half as the Warriors kept the lead growing until the final horn signaled an 87-50 win for Amity.

“They actually extended the lead to an extra 10 points,” Amaya said of his bench. “What you saw tonight is what people are nervous about.”

For Bobbett and T.R. McShane, Amity’s pair of seniors, it was an amazing last regular-season home game.

“Our crowd didn’t quit on us. When the starters came out, the starters were loud for the bench,” McShane said. “Everyone on our team is at a high level. We can all come in and hit shots, we all have trust in everyone.”

And it couldn’t have come at a better time. With the win, Amity (15-8, 8-5 WVL) is locked into fourth place in the league standings and will host a WVL playoff game next week – likely against Westside.

Amaya described Tuesday’s win as his team’s best game of the season.

“We feel like we’re starting to hit our stride. I never knew if we were going to do it this year,” he said. “It feels like, we’re starting to feel that momentum.”

The Warriors conclude their regular season tonight with a 7 p.m. game against Santiam Christian in Adair Village.

In other action:

Feb. 10

Santiam 45, Perrydale 43

MILL CITY – A turnover-plagued fourth quarter send Perrydale into a three-way tie for last place in the Class 2A Tri-River Conference on Tuesday.

Chad Price scored 25 for the Pirates and Haylen Janesofsky added 10.

The Pirates (8-13, 4-9 TRC) finish up their regular season tonight at home against St. Paul at 7 p.m. Perrydale needs a win to qualify for the TRC playoffs.

Dayton 58, Santiam Christian 53

DAYTON – Jarred Ashley dropped 17 points while his brother Darren Ashley scored 10 and Dayton held off the Eagles.

Zach Bernards scored 14 for the Pirates, who’s five point lead entering the fourth quarter was just enough to come away with their 13th consecutive Class 3A West Valley League contest.

Dayton (24-0, 13-0 WVL) looks to close out a perfect regular season against Horizon Christian at 7 p.m. tonight in Tualitan.

Western Mennonite 54, East Linn Christian 37

LINCOLN- The Pioneers dominated the middle quarters of Tuesday’s TRC contest against the Eagles, taking a 15 point lead to the final frame.

Colby Williams led the Pios with 17 points and four assists, while Wyatt Roth scored 13 and Jacobe DeJong grabbed six rebounds. Trevor Oyer came off the bench to add four dimes of his own.

Western (15-7, 8-4 TRC) closes their regular season against Santiam. Game time in Lincoln is set for 7:30 p.m.

Feb.9

Western Mennonite 64, St. Paul 36

LINCOLN – Roth scored 15 points and dished out five assists for the Pios as they crushed the Buccaroos on Monday in TRC play.

Williams added 10 points while DeJong grabbed eight rebounds for Western.

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