Seniors sent off in style
Student body left. Student body right.
Student body straight at the basket.
The McMinnville boys basketball team executed so well offensively in the second half against Newberg that it appeared to be five Tigers against the Mac High student body. A swollen student section, black-clad and bellowing from the west side of The Furnace, seemed to be yelling right into the Newberg players’ ears.
The Grizzlies scored on 22 of 27 possessions in the second half, and the student body swallowed up the court as the buzzer sounded on a 63-45 Class 6A Pacific Conference victory on Friday night.
The multi-part celebration – of Mac’s eighth straight win, of its trouncing of the rival Tigers, of its strengthened case for a Class 6A state playoff spot – spilled over into the hallway outside the Grizzlies’ locker room.
“It’s the best in the world,” McMinnville coach Willie Graham said of the frenzy. “I don’t see how you grow up here and not want to be a part of that. And it’s consistent. It’s not like it’s a one-night deal.”
Neither were the Grizzlies’ performances. Senior Gage Gubrud continued his stellar two-week run with a game-high 26 points and five rebounds. Six-foot-7 senior Vince Boumann weathered the body blows from Newberg posts Jacoby Wolfe and Matt Springer to put up 19 points and 10 rebounds.
The Tigers (6-16, 3-10) were game at the outset, running up a 20-12 lead midway through the second quarter. However, Newberg scored two points in the period’s last four minutes as the Grizzlies tied the game on made layups by Cameron Fox and Gubrud and two free throws by Boumann.
“They just outhustled us,” Graham said. “They outrebounded us. They were just physical.”
McMinnville (17-5, 9-4) was the more physical team in the second half, confounding Newberg into foul trouble and dominating the third quarter. The Grizzlies entered the fourth quarter on a 13-2 run and kept pace when the Tigers cut the lead to 10 points.
“I thought we did a good job of trapping without fouling,” Graham said. “We got our hands on the ball, got some tips.”
Gubrud, Boumann, Bryce Anderson, Drew Spence and Victor Ostling were honored in a Senior Night celebration before the game.
McMinnville plays at Forest Grove tonight at 7:15 p.m. in its final regular-season game.