Slow start and comeback falls short-Nyssa boys hold on for Eastern Oregon League victory

VALE – Few teams expect to win a win after two-point first quarter start. The Vale boys’ basketball team, playing on the home court but before a split crowed, put up just two points in the first eight minutes of play. A late run against cross county rival Nyssa fell a few points shorts and the Bulldogs claimed a 46-41 Eastern Oregon League victory.

Nyssa jumped out to a 13-2 lead after one quarter of play and led 21-11 at the half. Starting the fourth quarter, the Bulldogs were up by eight, 34-26.

With 5 minutes, 9 seconds left in the game, Vale cut the lead to five points at 36-31. The Dawgs extended the game back out on baskets by Brandon Vela and Pedro Chavez and Nyssa led 40-31.

The Vikings again cut into the lead off a basket by John Wolfe and a few free throws and with just under a minute left in the game, a 3-pointer by Vale’s Bryaden Gregory placed the score at 43-39, advantage Bulldogs. With Vale forced into fouling, Nyssa went to the free throw line on eight occasions in the final minute in an attempt to close out the game. The Bulldogs were only able to sink two of the eight.

After a missed shot, Wolfe again came up with a basket to cut the Nyssa lead to 46-41. A final free throw by Nyssa’s Chavez closed out the game and the win for the Bulldogs with four seconds on the clock.

Photo Gallery – Nyssa v Vale – Boys Basketball – Randy Seals

“We just were out of sync tonight,” said winning Nyssa coach Aaron Mills. “We are usually a good shooting free throw team and tonight, we only shot 25 percent. The reason we won tonight was we guarded well.”

In the win, Chavez had 16 points to lead Nyssa, the lone Bulldog in double figures. Leo Barba added 7 points and Brandon Vela ended the night with 6 points.

“We put ourselves in a hole early and at the end of the first quarter, we could have just folded,” said Vale coach Colby Shira. “I am proud of the way this team battled and held together to make this a game.”

Shira said the first quarter lack of scoring was due to nerves of his young team.

“We had four sophomores on the floor at one time,” Shira said. “These kids have never played in a gym with this many people.”

Wolfe finished the night with 13 points to lead Vale in the loss. Gregory added 8 points.

Nyssa (10-3 overall, 1-0 league) faces two additional league opponents this upcoming week with a trip to Umatilla (8-7 overall, 1-0 league) and Irrigon (2-11 overall, 0-2 league). A non-league matchup with Nixyaawii (10-4 overall) is on tap for Monday on the Nyssa home court.

In a makeup game due to weather, Vale hosts Irrigon on Monday, January 20. A busy week then takes place as the Vikings host Ontario (2-15), Riverside (10-4 overall, 1-0 league) and Umatilla.