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VALE – Professional sports teams train for important league games played on the road by erecting huge speakers and cranking up the volume to unspeakable decibel levels. The Nyssa High School Athletic Department and Nyssa Athletic Director Jenna Ravenscraft may remember this fact preparing for next year’s budget.
The victory did not come without some problems for the Bulldogs playing in the Vale gym, a small venue compared to other 3A Oregon schools. Facing the Vikings on Vale’s senior night with the gym packed with fans from both schools, the game’s initial eight minutes proved a struggle for the Dawgs to get on the same page.
“We could not hear each other to set up plays in the first quarter,” said Nyssa head coach Jeremy Chamberlain. “Vale/Nyssa is always a great atmosphere and we needed to settle down. Once we started to get on the same page and were able to call out some plays, we were fine.”
Nyssa did place the first points of the game on the score board after Malerie Long sank one of two free throws 45 seconds into the game. Vale’s first points came on the next possession as senior Riley Johnson celebrated her Senior Night with the bucket.
As the first quarter came to a close, the celebration in Vale looked promising as the Vikings led 11-6.
The scoring for Vale in the first quarter failed to carry over to the second quarter as the Vikings could only manage four points scored and went 6 minutes, 42 seconds without a point on the board. Nyssa took the lead for good at the 5:19 mark in the second quarter off a basket by Gracie Johnson.
The Bulldog defense took over in the second half, allowing Vale only seven points.
“This win started with our defense in the second half,” Chamberlain said.
One defensive scheme changed this game by Chamberlain was placing Johnson guarding Vale senior Kailey McGourty, a move that limited McGourty to 3 points for the game.
With their defense leading the way, Nyssa put up 22 points in the second half, cruising to the win.
Johnson ended the game with 12 points to lead all scorers in the game. Laney Hartley added seven points and Clarita Arizmendi and Long each had six points.
“We had problems getting our shots to fall tonight, Nyssa plays great defense.” said Vale head coach Randy Seals. “It was a typical Vale/Nyssa game where both teams played hard and the crowd was into the game from the start to the end.”
Junior Kinsey Meisinger led the Vikings with seven points for the night. Haylee Cleaver and Halle Pederson added five points each.
Fans of the Eastern Oregon League, take note-this is where things get interesting.
We will all know more Sunday morning.
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