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John L. Braese
VALE – The Idaho 2A New Plymouth boys’ basketball team had a good week playing against Oregon teams. After downing the Nyssa Bulldogs, 55-36 on Wednesday, Nov. 30, the Pilgrims stormed into Vale on Friday, Dec. 2 and handed the Vikings a 38-65 loss in the opening game of the year for the Viks.
New Plymouth jumped out early, scoring the first 14 points of the game. The Vikings finally placed points on the board at the 2 minute, 49 second mark when Luke McGourty hit a three. At the end of the first quarter, the Pilgrims held a 19-5 margin.
The Pilgrims continued to pour on the points and led 30-12 at the half.
The Vikings saw a few glimpses of good basketball in the second half, but New Plymouth ended the game with nine 3-pointers and cruised to the win.
Diesel Johnson led Vale in the loss with 14 points, 10 of those coming in the second half. Colton Stepleton ended the game with 7 points while McGourty and Iziah Shaw each added 5 points.
“We have a lot of work to do,” said Vale coach Colby Shira. “I thought we played decent in the second and third quarters, but we should have played better.”
The Vale team is playing this year with a number of players with limited or no varsity experience and without the services of Brooks Haueter, not expected back until late in the season after undergoing surgery.
“We will be back at practice on Monday figuring out the way to win these preseason games,” Shira said.
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