Grizzlies win part one of Yamhill County rivalry
Like rowdy student sections tend to do when their team has a lead late in a game, the McMinnville Grizzlies cheering section Friday rubbed it in.
The McMinnville boys basketball team (8-8) defeated Newberg 53-40 Friday night at the Furnace, and for the first time this season the gym was packed and a pep band’s sound bounced off the walls.
So did the spirited yells of the Grizzlies’ student section, chanting at the small gathering of Newberg students across the gym.
“Just like football,” the students began, reminding everyone of McMinnville’s 35-12 win in football this past season. The cheers weren’t done.
“Just like wrestling!” That one referred to Mac’s win Thursday at Newberg in a dual wrestling match, the first win by the Grizzlies vs. Newberg since the 1980-81 school year.
“Just like soccer!” The Grizzlies beat Newberg 3-1 in boys soccer in the fall.
The crowd couldn’t help but add one more: “Just like volleyball!” Mac defeated Newberg twice in September.
While McMinnville hasn’t gone undefeated this year vs. the Tigers (Newberg’s girls soccer team defeated Mac 2-1 in October), Grizzlies athletics have enjoyed a bit of a good stretch vs. their rivals to the north. It continued Friday with both the boys and girls teams defeating the Tigers.
In the boys game, the Grizzlies jumped out to a 7-1 lead behind six points from Taylor Vicknair. The Tigers climbed back into it but trailed 11-7 at the end of the first quarter.
That would be the theme of the night for Newberg (0-16, 0-7). McMinnville would pull ahead by six to 10 points, the Tigers would shrink the lead but never come all the way back.
McMinnville led 22-18 at halftime and 40-31 at the end of the third quarter.
Mac put the game away in the fourth quarter. With 5:38 to go in the game, junior Gage Gubrud scored back-to-back layups, and he was fouled on the second with 3:35 left. Gubrud made the free throw, and 30 seconds later Vicknair also scored on a layup.
Bryce Anderson capped the 9-0 run with a third layup with 2:33 left in the game, giving the Grizzlies a 49-33 lead.
Vicknair scored 18 points for the Grizzlies and had five rebounds. Gubrud scored 12 points, and Anderson added 11. Blaine Parker scored eight. Matthew Long and Tanner Autencio each scored two points.
The win was Mac’s third in a row and moved it to 4-3 at the halfway point of the Pacific Conference schedule.
The Grizzlies play at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at home vs. Hillsboro.