CORVALLIS — Jake Costello’s 21 points weren’t enough as the South Albany High boys basketball team dropped an 85-63 decision at Corvallis Tuesday night in Mid-Willamette Conference play.
It’s the second straight loss for the Rebels (15-4, 7-4), who host league-leading Crescent Valley (14-6, 9-2) Friday night. The Raiders defeated South 65-52 at home last month.
“It’ll be good to get them at home,” said South coach Justin Smith. “For some reason, we’ve been a totally different team at home and I’m hoping that can get us healthy a little bit. But the big thing is they have two of the best players in the league (Tariq Harris and Talanoa Hufanga) and we didn’t do a very good job of guarding their shooters last time. So we’ve got to make sure we do a better job with that.”
The Rebels close the regular season with three straight home games. South is 8-0 in its own building this year.
Hans Ellenson paced Corvallis (13-7, 8-3) with 27 points Tuesday night while Matthew Davis (12) and Dyshawn Hobson (11) were also in double figures.
“They played extremely well and shot the ball extremely well,” said Smith, whose team beat CHS 64-52 earlier this year. “Some of that was on us and our shot selection wasn’t good tonight. And then we were defending so much that it’s difficult for us and we didn’t get many stops. But credit to them. They played really well.”
Costello had 14 of his 21 in the first half. Teammate Jaden Guilford was the only other Rebel in double figures, finishing with 16 points.
Trailing 44-34 at halftime, South cut it to 51-44 early in the third on a Tanner Hemzacek bucket.
CHS closed the period on a 14-2 run, capped by a transition basket from Ethan Reab. The Spartans led by no fewer than 19 the rest of the way.
“We’ve had a number of games where we’ve played a really good 16 minutes and a really bad 16 minutes,” CHS coach Ross Duerfeldt said. “This is a game where we didn’t allow that to happen.”
After Carson Mlsna buried a deep 3-pointer to open the game, CHS answered with a 7-0 run to go up 7-3. Davis scored eight of the Spartans’ first 10 to help extend the lead to 10-5.
Hobson’s fadeaway jumper in the closing seconds made it 21-18 heading to the second quarter.
Consecutive 3s from Garrett Sather and Ellenson put the Spartans up 27-20, and another Ellenson triple pushed it to 30-22.
The lead reached double digits for the first time at 40-30 when Ellenson converted a pair from the line with 2:58 left in the period.
Duerfeldt praised Ellenson, who had 17 first-half points, for carrying the load.
“It was just Hans being Hans, honestly,” the coach said. “Coach (Brian) Sahnow actually told Hans that the use of his shot fake is really valuable for him. Hans is a really strong guard who can finish around the basket through contact, but he was knocking down shots tonight and it was great to see.”