AP NEWS

Trinity Lutheran pulls away from Days Creek, 53-40, in 1A semifinal

March 2, 2019
1 of 3
Days Creek guard Blake Ellis (0) looks for a teammate to pass to on an inbounds play during Friday’s Class 1A tournament semifinal game with Trinity Lutheran at Baker High School. The Saints won, 53-40.

The Days Creek boys basketball team stayed with Trinity Lutheran for three quarters in their OSAA Class 1A tournament semifinal game on Friday afternoon.

But the sixth-seeded Saints of Bend doubled up the No. 7 Wolves, 18-9, in the fourth period to take a 53-40 win at Baker High School.

Trinity Lutheran (24-5) moves into the championship game against No. 5 Nixyaawii (27-2) at 7 p.m. Saturday.

“We got beat by a better team today,” Days Creek coach James Ellis said. “I was pleased with our effort, although we were outmanned physically. That was the most physical game we’ve ever played in, and we could never get over the hump.”

Days Creek (22-6) will meet No. 8 Prairie City (26-3) at 11:30 a.m. for third place.

Matt Eidler and freshman Scooty Gilbert each scored 17 points for Trinity Lutheran, which led 35-31 heading into the final eight minutes. Eidler and Gilbert each grabbed seven rebounds, and Gilbert made four assists.

The Wolves were outrebounded 40-26 and shot poorly from the field, finishing at 30 percent (14-for-46). Trinity held a 32-10 advantage in points in the paint.

“They’re the best defensive team we’ve faced all year,” James Ellis said. “They pushed us out of our spots and held our main scorers down. We couldn’t get free all game. To their credit, they played at the level the officials allowed them to.”

Days Creek had no players score in double figures.

Rocco Muir had eight points. Caleb Kruzic contributed seven points and seven rebounds, Zane DeGroot scored seven points, and Cade Martin chipped in seven points, five rebounds and three assists.

Blake Ellis, who had six points, and DeGroot fouled out.

The Knights wrapped up the victory when Niko Utu converted a pair of free throws to make it 49-37 with 1:09 left in the contest.

“We only made two field goals in the fourth quarter, and fouled them a lot,” coach Ellis said. “We had to gamble and they beat us for a couple of cheap lay-ins.”

Gilbert sparked Trinity with 12 points in the second half.

Now the Wolves will attempt to end their season with a win over Prairie City, which was blown out 71-49 by Nixyaawii.

“Like today, (Prairie City) will be bigger than us,” James Ellis said. “I like our matchups at guard, but it’s going to be a test for us inside.”

DAYS CREEK (40) — Rocco Muir 2-9 3-4 8, Kruzic 3-9 1-1 7, DeGroot 3-10 0-0 7, Martin 2-4 1-3 7, Ellis 2-9 1-2 6, Whetzel 2-2 1-1 5, Stever 0-0 0-0 0, Knutzen 0-1 0-0 0, L. Berlingeri 0-0 0-0 0, N. Berlingeri 0-2 0-0 0, Jackson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-46 7-11 40.

TRINITY LUTHERAN (53) — Matt Eidler 7-13 2-6 17, Scooty Gilbert 5-17 6-8 17, Niemeyer 3-6 1-3 7, Utu 0-0 4-6 4, Valentine 2-4 0-0 4, Clift 1-3 0-0 2, Dover 1-1 0-0 2, Harrell 0-0 0-0 0, Schippers 0-0 0-0 0, Bennett 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-44 13-23 53.

Days Creek 8 10 13 9 — 40

T. Lutheran 12 11 12 18 — 53

3-Point Goals — D.C. 5-25 (Martin 2-4, Muir 1-5, DeGroot 1-4, Ellis 1-5, Knutzen 0-1), T.L. 2-7 (Eidler 1-2, Gilbert 1-3, Clift 0-1). Total Fouls — D.C. 18, T.L. 14. Fouled Out — Ellis, DeGroot. Rebounds — D.C. 26 (Kruzic 7), T.L. 40 (Gilbert, Eidler 7). Assists — D.C. 7 (Martin 3), T.L. 7 (Gilbert 4). Turnovers — D.C. 7, T.L. 9.