Dec. 23, 2021 — The Siuslaw Viking boys basketball team continued the exciting ride that is the 2021-22 season with their second consecutive two-point game at home. In between those two home games, Siuslaw traveled to Creswell for the Bulldog Invitational and split their two games there.
First, on Dec. 14, Newport came to town for a non-league match-up with Siuslaw. Prior to the game, the team had a bout with illness and had been forced to cancel their three previous games.
After finding themselves down 10 with a little more than two minutes to play, the Cubs stormed back to put themselves in position to win or tie, but the visitors missed a three point shot at the buzzer to end the night on the losing side. Final score Siuslaw 63 – Newport 61.
“The only thing that matters is getting the W,” said Viking Head Coach Dylan Perry. “But we need to be more disciplined and execute better as we move forward. I thought the guys that played tonight did an outstanding job of battling after not playing for over a week.”
On Friday, Dec. 17, the Vikings opened the Bulldog Invitational versus Sutherlin. SHS had little trouble with the Bulldogs and won 61-27.
Leading scorers in the game were seniors Braydon Thornton, who had 14 points, Brody Terry with 12, and Izaac Mattson, who was also in double digits with 11.
The next day, in the tournament’s title game, Siuslaw faced the host team, the Creswell Bulldogs.
Creswell, the #2 ranked team in 3A, was expected to be a challenge for the Viks, especially in their home gymnasium. Siuslaw led at the half 30-28 and battled all game before falling in the end 64-58.
The two senior guards were responsible for 40 of the Vik’s 64 points as Thornton scored 23 and Terry 17.
With winter coming on strong on its first day and landslides blocking roads to the north and east, just getting to Florence was a victory for Pleasant Hill when they came to town to play Siuslaw on Tuesday, Dec. 21.
Sadly for the Vikings, the Billies did not find solace in simply showing up.
In a game of streaks, both teams battled hard. Down 34-29 at the half, Siuslaw went on a 9-0 run to start the second half to take the lead 38-34. Pleasant Hill immediately answered with an 11 point run of their own to make the score 45-38. Not to be outdone the Viks scored the next 11 themselves to go up 49-45 near the end of the third quarter.
The fourth quarter was more of the same. Both teams would take the lead, the other would take it back.
With the score tied 62-62 and 19 seconds left, the Billies rebounded a Viking missed free throw and called a timeout. After both teams’ strategy sessions, Pleasant Hill got the ball. Senior Braedyn Cantrell drove and scored for the Billies to put them up 64-62.
Without any timeouts left and only :05 seconds on the clock, the Vikings were forced to quickly move down the court after Pleasant Hill’s go ahead basket. In a flurry of action, the Viks were unable to get off a shot as time expired. The home fans clamored for the referees to call what looked like a foul on the visiting Billies, but the officials quickly evacuated Glen Butler Court without discussion.
Final score Pleasant Hill 64 – Siuslaw 62.
A successful early season continues for the Billies, who’s record moves to 8-1 with the win. The Viking’s record reflects their up and down play and sits at 4-3.
The Vikings will now take an almost week-long break before they travel up the coast for a holiday tournament in Newport next week. The first game, at 5 p.m. on Dec. 28, will feature some familiar faces as Siuslaw will face South Umpqua. Many of the same student-athletes that will be on the court were on the field a few weekends ago when the two schools met in Cottage Grove for the 3A football state championship. Newport and Taft will join the Vikings and Lancers in the four-team/two-day competition.