Mapleton: 07 07 11 05 — 30
Siletz Valley: 17 14 14 17 — 62
Jan. 12, 2019 — After a short break at the beginning of the week without a game Tuesday night, the Mapleton boys’ basketball team was on the hardwood — the first time since the completion of the new gym floor, which included the return of iconic “Salty the Sailor” at mid court.
Hosting the Mountain West's first-place Siletz Valley Warriors, currently undefeated in league play at 4-0, the Sailors had their hands full against the Warriors' 12-man, upperclassman dominated roster, which was a stark contrast to Mapleton’s five-man roster that included Evan Moso as its only senior.
Despite that disparity, the Sailors battled hard, giving up a majority of points to steals and missed freethrows rather than a lack of opportunity or poor shooting from the field.
Trailing 9-24 after a 3-pointer by Siletz early in the second quarter, Mapleton junior Nate Neece scored the Sailors’ first basket of the period with 2:16 remaining before the half. The Warriors answered with another 3-pointer, then a pair of steals before Moso drained a long 3-point shot from the far corner of the baseline to end the half.
The Sailors came back from the break to score their biggest period of the game, but not until late in the quarter, when Neece, along with brother JJ and sophomore Jeremy Bender combined for 11 points — including a 3-pointer from Bender and a pair of rebounds from Nate.
But the final period belonged to Siletz, with the Warriors holding Mapleton to just 5 points — a pair of freethrows and a bucket from JJ, along with a freethrow from sophomore AJ Moso — while posting 17 points for a 62-30 win.
Nate Neece led scoring with 9 points. JJ Neece had 8 points, along with 5 points each from Evan Moso and Bender, and AJ Moso for 3 points.
The fifth-place Sailors (1-3, 2-10) will return to the court Tuesday, when they host second-place Mohawk (4-1, 8-8) before finishing the week on the road at sixth-place Crow (1-4, 2-13) next Thursday.
Both games tip off at 5:30 p.m., followed by the girls game at 7 p.m.