Spartans golden, Bulldogs blue
WILLAMINA – During a second-quarter timeout in Friday’s Class 3A West Valley League action, Sheridan boys basketball coach James Denton gave Jacob Hertel a “what’s my motivation” pep talk.
Hertel, Denton said, could help the Spartans’ offense out against rival Willamina but was not putting forth the effort. Hertel, a 6-foot-1 junior post, responded with eight points in a two-minute span following the timeout and 20 points overall as Sheridan defeated the Bulldogs, 63-43, for a road victory.
“When he decides he’s going to be an offensive threat, he’s pretty good,” Denton said of Hertel. “He showed that in (that) span.”
Fernando Loera, who transferred from Willamina to Sheridan earlier this year, scored 14 points off the bench for the Spartans. Matt Bushbaum added 11 points.
Though the Spartans (5-7, 2-3) put up their second-highest point total of the season and largely emptied the bench in the second half, they remain prone to bouts of inconsistency on offense. Sheridan outscored Willamina (0-14, 0-5) 22-7 in the first quarter; in the second quarter, the Bulldogs went on a 10-4 run over five minutes before Hertel’s offensive explosion.
“At the beginning of the season, the guys expressed a desire to run (up-tempo),” Denton said. “Sometimes it gets a little ratty. We have to play under control.”
Hertel’s scoring outburst was part of a 26-0 Sheridan run spanning 6 minutes, 20 seconds between the second and third quarters. When Bulldogs point guard Brodey Bruckner hit a jump shot with 3:57 remaining in the third quarter, the Spartans held a 58-26 lead.
Willamina is one of the youngest teams in Class 3A, with two juniors and no seniors on its nine-person roster. (Three more players may join the team as soon as this week, eligibility permitting, according to Bulldogs coach Mike Hughes.) Against Sheridan, as against many others, the freshman Bruckner (21 points) and junior Shane Thomas (14 points) were the team’s offensive leaders.
“Shane and Brodey were the only ones that were offensive threats,” Denton said. “We left them open. Defensively, we’re a work in progress.”
Sheridan’s season continues Tuesday, when it hosts Colton at 7:30 p.m. Willamina plays Westside Christian at West Hills Christian School in Portland at 7:30 p.m.
Horizon Christian 67, Sheridan 51
TUALATIN – The Hawks defeated the Spartans in Wednesday’s Class 3A West Valley League game.
Sheridan 80, Gervais 42
SHERIDAN – The Spartans set a season-high for points in a game, defeating the Cougars at home on Jan. 13 in Class 3A West Valley League play.
Corbett 73, Willamina 54
CORBETT – The Cardinals defeated the Bulldogs in Class 3A nonleague play Saturday. The game was originally scheduled for December but was postponed due to inclement weather.
Dayton 71, Willamina 38
DAYTON – Zach Bernards scored 24 points (6-of-8 from three-point range) and Corwin Hiatt added 11 points and eight rebounds as the Pirates knocked off the Bulldogs in Wednesday night’s Class 3A West Valley League game.
Toney Eichler led Willamina with 11 points, and Riley Boardman scored seven points.
Colton 54, Willamina 47
WILLAMINA – The Bulldogs squandered a five-point lead in the fourth quarter as the Vikings went on a 15-4 run in the game’s final five minutes to top Willamina in Class 3A West Valley League play on Jan. 13.
“That might’ve been their best game in four, five years,” Bulldogs coach Mike Hughes said. “We haven’t been ahead (late) in too many games. We don’t know what the protocol is.”
Riley Boardman led Willamina with 12 points.