Red dead redemption
NEWBERG – With his team struggling offensively, Gage Gubrud put McMinnville boys basketball on his back.
The Grizzlies clung to a one-point lead on the road, with host Newberg closing in, when Gubrud hit a layup with 1 minute, 12 seconds remaining and 3-of-4 free throws in the game’s final minute to give Mac a 47-41 victory over the Tigers in Friday night’s Class 6A Pacific Conference game.
Gubrud, a senior guard, scored 12 of his 15 points in the second half as the Grizzlies (11-4, 3-5 Pacific) won their second consecutive game. He had missed his first three shot attempts of the fourth quarter before hitting a driving layup and sending McMinnville’s traveling student section – bedecked in red – into a frenzy.
“Gage had two (shot attempts) that he usually makes,” Grizzlies coach Willie Graham said. “Know what? He goes right back and gets us the game.”
Vince Boumann led Mac with 17 points and six rebounds on the evening. Jacoby Wolfe led Newberg with 12 points; the Tigers’ 6-foot-7 junior played physical defense against the 6-foot-7 Boumann throughout the game.
Newberg (4-12, 1-6) was coming off an upset of Forest Grove before hosting McMinnville, and a crowd dressed largely in white clamored for more. The Tigers delivered.
Boumann scored the first five points of the game for the Grizzlies, but Newberg increased its defensive intensity and locked down Mac’s offense. The Grizzlies went 8:40 between field goals in the first half as Newberg built a 17-6 lead early on.
“We were getting thumped,” Graham said. “They were taking it to us. They’re a good team. I don’t care who you are – you don’t beat Forest Grove without talent.”
Boumann and Gubrud got McMinnville back into the game by drawing fouls. The Grizzlies went 7-for-8 from the free throw line in the second quarter, cutting the deficit to 23-20 by halftime.
“We thought we were getting good shots,” Graham said. “We were struggling to control (Newberg). For most of the third quarter, we did a better job.”
Mac outscored the Tigers 19-9 in the third quarter, scoring on seven of its first eight possessions. Three-pointers by Gubrud, Drew Spence and Tanner Autencio swung the crowd momentum toward McMinnville while allowing Boumann to gain position inside.
Mac built its lead up to 42-32 early in the fourth quarter, thanks to a basket-and-the-foul by junior Kyle Brooker. That would be the last basket the Grizzlies would score until Gubrud’s late layup, however; Newberg edged its way back to 42-41 but never would take the lead again.
The Grizzlies play at Hillsboro tonight at 7:15 p.m. before returning to the Furnace Friday to play Century at 7:15 p.m.