Nestucca hosted Neah-Kah-Nie for an intra-county, basketball showdown on December 6, with the Bobcats girls’ team emerging victorious, while the Pirate boys bested the Bobcats.
In both games, the winning teams rode hot outside shooting to large early margins that proved insurmountable for their opponents.
The girls’ teams tipped first and Nestucca got off to a quick start. Deploying a full court press, the Bobcats forced turnovers early and often.
They jumped out to a 7-2 lead early before unleashing a flurry of threes to push the lead to double digits. By the time Chloe Love hit a buzzer beating three to end the first quarter, Nestucca had made five threes and held a 25-8 lead.
Love totaled 10 points on the night, one of four Bobcats to notch double digits.
Makayla Webber led the way with 17 points, Lyndie Hurliman chipped in 13 and Hailee Knight added 12.
The Bobcats would not match the three-point output of the first quarter again, but they were able to rely on defensive pressure to generate fast-break points and free throw opportunities.
Nestucca pushed the lead to 41-20 by the half and a 64-35 final score.
Ashlynn Nelson-Lawrence was the leading scorer for the Pirates with 10 points, as Neah-Kah-Nie struggled with turnovers and poor shooting all night.
When the boys’ basketball game tipped shortly after, the roles were reversed, with Neah-Kah-Nie riding a three-point barrage to a decisive victory.
The game was close in the early going, with the teams knotted at eight points after five minutes.
But a series of Nestucca turnovers late in the first quarter let the Pirates open up a 16-8 lead in the last minutes of the frame.
Neah-Kah-Nie kept the pressure on during the second quarter as their defense continued to force turnovers and frustrate Nestucca’s offense. At the half, the Pirates lead was 29-14.
Coming out of the locker room in the second half, the Pirates dealt a final blow to the Bobcats’ hopes on the evening by scoring seven unanswered points in under a minute to start the third quarter.
The rest of the third quarter only saw eight points combined from the teams, before more threes for Neah-Kah-Nie in the fourth made the final tally 55-30.
Ivan Dante and Tony Allen led the way for the Pirates with 14 points and 13 points respectively. Espen White made three three-pointers and Jordan Lewis chipped in two as the team scored 10 combined from beyond the arc.
Eagan Ortis and Diego Ponce scored six apiece for the Bobcats on the evening.
With the win, the Pirates improved to 3-1 on the season, having beat Gaston 86-41 the night before.
Dante, the team’s center, went down with an ankle injury midway through Tuesday’s game, and Head Coach Erick White expected him to miss the rest of the calendar year with the injury.
In their next game, the Pirates lost to Kennedy at home on December 8, but bounced back with a 54-50 win against Delphian the next day.
Nestucca fell to 1-2 with the loss. Their struggles continued in a 63-39 loss at Willamina on December 9.
The Bobcats girls’ team improved to 2-0 with the win, but dropped their next contest at Willamina, 45-36, on December 9.
The lady Pirates record was 3-1 following the game and they will look to rebound against Catlin Gabel on the road on December 12.
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