ARGOS — Similar game, same result.
Oregon-Davis claimed its first win of the season over Argos in the Bi-County consolation round Jan. 21, and the Dragons were hoping for a reprisal on their home floor Friday. But once again Argos couldn’t hold onto a tentative lead down the stretch, and the Bobcats outlasted their hosts for a 48-46 win at Phil Weybright Gymnasium.
“I can’t tell you enough how proud I am of the kids tonight. They battled through it; this is our third game this week,” said OD head coach Matt Crawford. “A long week and to have that kind of presence of mind and get it done is just huge. I’m just so proud of them at the end of a tough week to go out and get that done.”
The Dragons held a narrow 42-39 advantage going into the fourth quarter after taking the lead on a 7-0 run spanning 3:53 and sparked by a corner triple from Brian Snyder at the 5:03 stop.
But OD answered back with a 4-0 mini run to close the third, then opened the final frame 7-4 to knot the game at 46-all on a pair of free throws by freshman Blake Hurford with 1:23 remaining. Dominic Cataldo missed the front end of a one and one with 1:15 left, OD senior Craig McIntosh split a pair of freebies to put the Bobcats in the lead for good with 29 seconds on the clock, Dragons sophomore Cain Thorn drove the lane and missed the potential go-ahead basket from in close before McIntosh split another two charity tosses with 3 seconds left to bring the score to its final margin and give the Bobcats their first back-to-back wins of the season.
“It almost had the same kind of feel. They got a short shot at the end last game over there at LaVille in the Bi-County, and they got almost the exact same shot tonight,” said Crawford. “It just rimmed out; it was the same player, Thorn had it both times. It was almost eerie the way the game felt coming there into the end.”
“One area where I felt like this late in the year young kids should have grown a little bit is we did build a five or six-point lead, and we didn’t build upon that. Instead we allowed them back in the game, and that’s exactly what happened the first game,” said Argos head coach Doug Snyder. “But you’ve got to give those kids some credit, they were working hard to get themselves back in.”
Argos jumped out to an initial 18-9 lead at the game on the strength of 9-of-10 field efficiency in the first quarter. But OD closed out the quarter 7-0 and limited the Dragons to 12 of 32 shooting from the floor in the remaining three frames.
“We did a great job offensively the first quarter. We came out and ran our offense very well, got layup after layup,” said Snyder. “The problem was after the first two minutes we decided not to play defense. To their kids’ credit they did a great job of staying after it and taking it at us on offense, and we didn’t do a very good job defensively. We tried a little zone, we tried a little man, we tried a little press, these kids didn’t want to play defense then.”
OD was led by Hurford’s game-high 13 points and three steals, while McIntosh finished with 10 points, three steals, two assists and six rebounds, and Jacob Jones put up 11. It was the third win in the last four games for the Bobcats, who opened the season 0-10 in Crawford’s first year as head coach before claiming their first win against Argos Jan. 21.
“You always want to be playing your best basketball coming into the end of the year, and I think we’re doing that,” said Crawford. “It takes awhile with new terminology and a new teaching style and new people to get used to. I credit the kids for that. They’ve been coachable, they’ve been willing to listen, they’ve been working hard. We had a tough streak at the beginning of the season where some people may have packed it in, but these kids didn’t; they persevered.”
Argos was paced by Cataldo’s 11 points, while Thorn was held to eight points before both fouled out in the final minutes. The young Dragons have lost 10 straight coming into the final two games of the regular season.
“We’re definitely not where I want to be,” Snyder said. “I thought we’d be a lot farther along. We talk about how young our team is but this late in the year, that’s no longer an excuse, especially because it’s a young team we played tonight. Like I told them, I’m really disappointed defensively in where we’re at this late in the year. I’m a little concerned about our decision-making and leadership is another concern of mine. I think we had some moments where we were missing some leadership tonight.”
• OREGON-DAVIS 48,
Score by quarters
OD: 16 30 39 48
Argos: 18 28 42 46
OD (48): Blake Hurford 13, Jacob Jones 11, Craig McIntosh 10, Nolan Coffin 5, Zachary Johnston 4, Zachary Taylor 3, Dalton Taylor 2; Totals: 16 13-21 48.
ARGOS (46): Dominic Cataldo 11, Cain Thorn 8, Casey Johnson 6, Brian Snyder 6, Zach Hartman 5, Taylor Ogle 4, Ben Carter 4, Max Bailey 2; Totals: 21 1-4 46.
3-pointers: OD 3 (Jones, Coffin, Z. Taylor), Argos 3 (Snyder 2, Cataldo); Turnovers: OD 6, Argos 14; Rebounds: OD 21 (McIntosh 6), Argos 27 (Ogle 10); Steals: OD 8 (Hurford 3, McIntosh 3), Argos 3 (Ogle, Hartman, Cataldo); Assists: OD 4 (McIntosh 2), Argos 10 (Hartman 4); Fouls (fouled out): OD 10 (Jones), Argos 20 (Cataldo, Thorn).
Records: Argos 2-16, OD 4-15
JV score: Argos 44 (Jordan Norris 9), OD 38 (Zach Johnston 22)