Within their grasp
With his team trailing 39-37 in Wednesday’s Class 6A first-round state playoff game, McMinnville senior Vince Boumann came up, well, big.
The 6-foot-7 Boumann rebounded a missed layup by Bryce Anderson, absorbing a blow to the back from Oregon City’s Chris Mengis in the process. Boumann found Gage Gubrud at the top of the key for a three-pointer that gave Mac a 40-39 lead.
Two possessions later, Boumann received the ball in the past. His back to the basket, he found a crevice in between two Pioneers and made a layup while being fouled. Boumann sank the free throw, and the Grizzlies’ lead grew to 43-39.
“That was pretty huge,” McMinnville coach Willie Graham said.
Mac’s lead would be cut down to three points, but it would not evaporate completely as the No. 11-seeded Grizzlies escaped the No. 22 Pioneers, 59-51, Wednesday night at The Furnace.
Gubrud made all six of his free throw attempts down the stretch to finish with a game-high 22 points. Boumann had 19 points, nine rebounds and three steals in propelling McMinnville (19-5) to the second round of the state playoffs.
Briggs Young led the Pioneers with 21 points. All 51 of Oregon City’s points were distributed among four players, with Austin DeWitz (15 points), Brad Martin (13 points) and Mengis (two points) scoring in addition to Young.
Both McMinnville and Oregon City (13-12) sat back in a 2-3 zone defense for much of the game, and both played deliberate offensive basketball against the zone, waiting for the best shot opportunities. The Grizzlies shot an efficient 50.0 percent from the floor (19-of-38) and made 20-of-26 free throws; the Pioneers shot 46.2 percent from the floor (18-of-39) and made 11-of-12 free throws.
“I thought we defended them really pretty well for the whole game,” Graham said. “Both teams were making shots, playing hard.”
Mac led 30-25 at the half but scored two third-quarter baskets as Oregon City outscored it 14-7 in the period. The Grizzlies returned the favor in the fourth quarter, holding the Pioneers to one basket in the first six minutes and forcing four turnovers, including a 10-second violation.
Drew Spence added six points for McMinnville. Tanner Autencio filled up the stat sheet with five points, eight rebounds and four assists.
The Grizzlies will travel to Aloha on Saturday to face No. 6 Sunset for a second-round game that begins at 5 p.m. McMinnville defeated the Apollos on Dec. 20, 2013, 57-40, though Sunset was not at full strength for the game.
Both teams will be at full strength Saturday.
“It’s a long history,” Graham said. “There’s probably no team that we have as much respect for as Sunset. It’ll take everything we’ve got.”