Mac boys momentum halted by Century on the road
Senior Nick Autencio led the Grizzlies (13-6, 7-2) with 14 points and seven rebounds, while junior Gage Gubrud added 13 points and five rebounds. Taylor Vicknair also had 13 points for Mac, but it wasn’t enough to overcome a third quarter drought.
“Those guys were good for us tonight,” McMinnville coach Willie Graham said. “When we really needed a score tonight those guys were there for us, and we were able to get out of some tight spots.”
Mac finishes its short road trip at 7:15 p.m. Tuesday at Tigard. The Grizzlies lost at home in The Furnace to the Tigers 66-54 on Jan. 15.
“The errors that we had against Century are very fixable,” Graham said. “We have to get back to practice Monday and just keep working and planning for Tigard on Tuesday.”
The Grizzlies came out in the first quarter, matched the Jaguars’ intensity and held a 13-12 lead after the first quarter. Mac struggled in the second quarter, scoring nine points, which gave Century a 25-22 halftime lead.
“We really battled,” Graham said. “And we had good execution there in the first half, and I felt that if we could carry it over to the second half, we’d have a good chance to win the game.”
The Grizzlies were not able to carry momentum into the second half, and the offensive struggles continued into the third period. The Jaguars outscored McMinnville 21-11 in the quarter, and took a 46-33 lead into the fourth quarter.
Graham said it was the defensive side of the ball that was a bigger concern for Mac in the second half, and it’s what led to Century’s surge. He admitted the coaches saw some improvements, but it wasn’t enough to match the Jaguars offensive intensity in the third quarter.
“Defensively, we did some good things,” Graham said. “Particularly in the first half and fourth quarter. We were able to limit their inside presence and shots. But that got away from us in the third quarter.”
The Grizzlies weren’t going down easily. They outscored Century 24-21 in the final quarter, but Mac’s struggles in third quarter were too big to upset the Jaguars.
The loss brings McMinnville to an even .500 record on the season. The Grizzlies had their four-game win streak broken.
Madison McCaffery led Century with 21 points, Sam Riddle scored 19, and Austin Siminia had 12. Riddle led all scorers at the half with 10.
Junior Bryce Anderson and sophomore Matt Long were pleasant surprises for the Grizzlies, Graham said. Anderson finished with five points and three assists, and Long had four points.
Girls basketball rebounds
The McMinnville girls basketball team rebounded from a loss at Hillsboro with a 42-39 win Friday at Century.
Mac is now tied for fourth place with Newberg in the Pacific Conference at 5-4. Mac and Newberg are a game back of Tualatin and Glencoe for third place.
The Grizzlies play at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday at home vs. Tigard.