Grizzlies nab Tualatin in overtime

Gubrud led the Grizzlies (10-10, 6-5) to an 86-77 overtime-win Friday vs. Tualatin (13-7, 8-3), hitting three crucial shots in the final minutes.

“Gage is a great kid,” McMinnville coach Willie Graham said. “That’s just what he does for us. I mean, he has a lot of great performances, but the biggest compliment I can give him is when he has a ‘bad performance’ you never notice it.”

Gubrud finished the game with a team-leading 33 points and six rebounds, but his final nine points were the biggest.

The Grizzlies play at 7:15 p.m. today at Glencoe.

Last week, the Timberwolves outscored Newberg 105-49, and the press gave the Timberwolves the opportunities to do the same Friday vs. Mac. They forced 21 McMinnville turnovers with the press. Graham said there’s only one thing a team can do when facing a press.

“Survive,” Graham said. “If we hadn’t won, (turnovers) would’ve been our bugaboo.”

The Tualatin press continued in the second quarter, and with under two minutes to play in the first half, the game was tied at 26. Gubrud received a pass from Nicholas Autencio and knocked down a 3-pointer from the left wing to give Mac a 29-26 lead, and it carried a 32-29 lead into halftime.

“That trapping press opens up a lot of lanes,” Gubrud said. “You just have to look for those lanes, and you can’t force things in there, and you just have to take chances when you get in there, I guess.”

Those lanes closed fast as Tualatin came out of halftime. The Timberwolves took their first lead at 34-32 with 7:15 in the third quarter and closed the quarter with a 53-51 lead.

The survival instinct Graham referred to kicked in during the fourth period. Both teams traded baskets the entire quarter, and with 2.7 seconds left, Mac got the ball with the score tied at 68. The Grizzlies came out of the timeout and got Gubrud the ball on his sweet spot of the night: the left wing.

“I just wanted to get off a good shot,” Gubrud said. “I figured if I was able to get a good pass and a good look, I’d have a chance to make it.”

Gubrud got a good inbound pass and a good look at a 3-pointer, but it missed off the front iron sending the game to overtime. Gubrud wouldn’t miss again.

It took Mac half of overtime to put the game out of reach. In those two minutes, Gubrud knocked down back-to-back-to-back 3-pointers, all from the right elbow. His nine straight points gave the Grizzlies a 77-71 lead, and the Timberwolves couldn’t recover.

“They make it a high pace game,” Gubrud said. “The key in that situation is to stay calm and make good passes and just good ball movement. If you do that, you’ll get easy shots. That’s what happened tonight. I got some good looks, Nick (Autencio) got some. Everyone did.”

Notes: Taylor Vicknair scored 17 points, Autencio added 15 points, Blaine Parker had 10 and Matthew Long added seven points.

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