Amity leaves Pirates feeling blue
AMITY – For all of the big shots, the defensive stops and the general excitement of a cross-county rivalry with added stakes, the ending was more of a slow burn.
Amity and Dayton played 40 minutes of back-and-forth, punch-and-counterpunch, heavyweight prizefight basketball in Wednesday night’s Class 3A West Valley League playoff game before the Pirates’ foul trouble was too much to overcome.
The Warriors made 7-of-10 free throws in the second overtime period, outlasting Dayton 53-49 and automatically qualifying for the Class 3A state playoffs.
“I’m fine with the double-overtime win,” Amity sophomore Lance Nelson said. “Made it a little more interesting.”
Nelson led the Warriors with 19 points as Amity (22-4, 12-2) swept Dayton (14-10, 9-5) for the first time in at least a decade in boys basketball. Warriors senior Zach Wilson finished with 11 points, and Brett Hilt added 10 points.
Corwin Hiatt, the lone senior on the Pirates’ roster, led all scorers with 20 points, including 12 in the first half as Dayton built a 24-17 lead.
“Cory was excellent,” Dayton coach Ron Hop said. “We just didn’t get him the ball enough. We’ve got a guy that’s killing it down there and I keep running sets for him.
“That’s part of the atmosphere and hopefully part of the maturation process. He just didn’t get enough touches in the overtimes or toward the end of the game.”
Amity held Dayton to a single field goal in the third quarter and Derek Ojua scored four of his eight points to cut the Warriors’ deficit to 28-25. In the fourth quarter, Amity overcame a 33-28 lead but found the game tied at 37 on Zach Spink’s two free throws with 42.8 seconds remaining.
Dayton held the ball last, with 8.4 seconds left on the click, but Devin Nowlin’s layup missed its mark as time expired.
“We had a layup at the bucket,” Hop said. “I don’t know if he had two hands on it or what.”
Nelson scored all five points for Amity in the first overtime, including a pair of free throws with 6.6 seconds to play to give the Warriors a 42-39 lead. Dayton freshman Zach Bernards, who scored two points in regulation, made a three-pointer with two seconds remaining to keep the Pirates alive.
“That was a nice shot,” Wilson said. “Brett (Hilt) had solid defense, had a hand in his face, and Bernards still made the shot.”
Dayton lost Nowlin to foul trouble in the first overtime, and Bernards and Hiatt fouled out in the second overtime as the Warriors keep applying pressure.
Amity moves on to the league championship game against Horizon Christian of Tualatin, scheduled for 7 p.m. Saturday at Central High School in Independence. Dayton will play the winner of Sheridan and Westside Christian on Friday night at 1:30 p.m. at Central High School.
The Pirates, of course, still need to win to punch their ticket to Coos Bay.
“We’re in the state playoffs,” Amity coach Justin Amaya said. “The boys are in it.”
Sheridan 52, Colton 47
COLTON – Jacob Hertel scored 20 points and grabbed 11 rebounds as the Spartans outlasted the Vikings in Wednesday night’s Class 3A West Valley League playoff game at Colton High School.
Fernando Loera had 10 points and five rebounds for Sheridan (10-12, 6-8), and Matt Bushbaum added six points and 10 rebounds.
Colton’s season ends with an 11-14 overall record (6-8 West Valley.) The Spartans will play at Westside Christian tonight at 7 p.m. in Portland.