Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Cody Dauterman, one of the McMinnville fourth-quarter leaders, puts up a running hook shot against the Cougar defense. He finished the night as the McMinnville high scorer.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Cody Dauterman, one of the McMinnville fourth-quarter leaders, puts up a running hook shot against the Cougar defense. He finished the night as the McMinnville high scorer.
Rusty Rae/News-Register##
Cody Dauterman has the inbound pass covered and McMinnville defenders have the Cougars covered, too, forcing Canby to call a timeout.
Rusty Rae/News-Register## Cody Dauterman has the inbound pass covered and McMinnville defenders have the Cougars covered, too, forcing Canby to call a timeout.
By Rusty Rae • Of the News-Register • 

Grizzlies fall short against Canby, but find mojo

 

Maybe it takes a loss to light the fuse.

Will sparks from a blazing fourth-quarter performance by McMinnville High School’s boys’ basketball team (6-6,0-0) in a Thursday evening 48-44 loss to visiting Canby (9-4, 0-0), ignite a winning season and elevate the them to a slot in the state playoffs? That question will be answered tonight when the Grizzlies head into league play against Forest Grove (4-5, 0-0).

For three-quarters, McMinnville played as if they were stuck in an endless basketball universe of Ground Hog Day. It wasn’t that they didn’t play hard. It wasn’t that they didn’t follow the game plan of head coach Willie Graham, Nothing went right for the Griz.

The Cougars, on the other hand, burst out of the gate  smelling bear meat on the bone and went about devouring the Grizzlies during the initial 24 minutes.

Graham said of the slow start by his team, “Our shots just weren’t falling in the first half. We missed open shots.”

Missed shots and tepid rebounding, particularly in the first half  — the Grizzlies were out-rebounded 30-23 — led to a beastly offensive performance by Canby.

McMinnville appeared to find some semblance of balance in the second quarter after being outscored by a 16-9 margin. The second quarter evolved into an even match-up as the frame went to Canby by a 9-8 margin. The hot-shooting Cougars, who drained three triples in the first half, went into the break with a 25-17 lead.

Expectations were high, the Grizzlies would enter the second half with a renewed purpose. The quarter opened, however, on a definite downer. McMinnville committed three straight turnovers without so much as getting a shot off. Canby, fortified by the shooting of game-high scorer Dayton Myers, raced out to leads of as much 18 points. As the third stanza ended, it appeared as if McMinnville was headed to a blow-out loss.

However, the Grizzlies, who never stopped giving a full effort, clicked as a team in the fourth quarter. Canby, on the other hand became complacent. Those two elements led to an exciting finish,

McMinnville’s trapping defense forced multiple Canby turnovers as the Grizzlies finally flipped the script from the first three quarters. As a result, the Cougars actually wound up on the short end of the turnover stats, 18-15.

During the fourth quarter, McMinnville outscored the visitors by a 19-6 margin, as offense and defense, in total synch, strangled the Canby earlier offensive output.

Offensively, Cody Dauterman leading the Grizzly charge was the high scorer for Mac with 15 points. Max Saltmarsh also help propel the McMinnville surge, dropping a three-point during the fourth-quarter upswing.

As strong as Dauterman was for McMinnville, a lack of free throw shooting ultimately doused the Grizzly hopes of a comeback win. McMinnville was 9-16 from the charity stripe, and Dauterman, in the third quarter was 3-8.

Graham said, “We need to become more consistent — it’s that simple. Poor starts are part of the game, sometime, but I hope we can build on the momentum from our fourth quarter performance.”

Tonight’s boy’s game against Forest Grove tips off at 5:45 p.m. The girls’ game will follow with a 7:15 p.m. start.

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