SILVERTON — A deadly combination of physicality and 3-point marksmanship propelled Silverton High past South Albany in Tuesday night’s battle of Mid-Willamette Conference unbeatens.
The second-ranked Foxes knocked down 12 triples and controlled the offensive glass, running away for a 69-42 boys basketball victory. No. 8 South (11-4, 4-1) was undone by a second quarter that Silverton (13-1, 5-0) won 23-7.
After leading 6-0 early, the Rebels were outscored 38-12 in the remainder of the opening half.
“They are just really good,” South coach Justin Smith said. “I think they are probably better than anyone we’ve played this year. They shoot the ball well, they are physical.
“Coming into this game, we talked about how you can’t allow a bunch of offensive rebounds and you can’t turn the ball over. And in that second quarter, we did both.”
South trailed just 15-11 after the first period before things began to fall apart.
Turnovers led to easy transition buckets for the Foxes, who start four players that stand 6-foot-4 or taller. Silverton was also connecting from long range.
“All we talk about is defense and rebounding,” Silverton coach Jamie McCarty said. “We are committed on that defensive end and I thought the guys really did a great job with our game plan. We limited them to one shot, I thought we slowed the tempo of the game down on their end and I thought we sped it up on our end.”
Sophomore point guard David Gonzales led the Foxes with 23 points, making three shots from beyond the arc. Senior guard Cade Roth knocked down six 3s en route to 20 points while Levi Nielsen added 15 points.
“They shot the ball well but we gave them some open looks,” Smith said. “We’ve got to defend their three best players better, they had (58) of their (69), and we have a long ways to go.
“We obviously have a decent record… but that doesn’t mean anything. If we want to compete against the top-level teams, we have to get better.”
Senior Jake Costello paced the Rebels with 12 points. Seth Cullison had 10, Kyle Miller nine and Jaden Guilford eight.
The Rebels, who split with Silverton a season ago, began the game with three consecutive buckets in the paint to go up 6-0. The Foxes gabbed their first lead at 10-9 on a nifty Gonzales fast-break layin.
Costello picked up his second foul late in the quarter as South trailed 15-11 after one. The senior remained in the game, but Silverton seized control when Roth drained consecutive 3s for a 29-16 lead.
The second triple came after a pair of offensive rebounds.
“A huge key was that second quarter,” McCarty said. “We let them get off to a pretty hot start and that’s not typical of these boys. I thought they did a really good job of buckling down.”
The Foxes continued to pour it on en route to a 38-18 halftime edge.
Silverton hit seven first-half 3s — three by Roth — while limiting South to just one triple. The Rebels made eight total field goals in the first 16 minutes of play.
“When we look back to last year, against the Wilsonvilles and Summits … those high-level championship basketball teams, you can’t have quarters where you have those lulls,” Smith said. “Every quarter you have to be solid, and if not you don’t beat teams like that.”
A Cullison 3 on the first possession of the fourth got South within 16 at 50-34. The Rebels weren’t able to convert multiple close-range buckets that would’ve cut into the lead, allowing Silverton to run away with it.
South, which entered Tuesday on a five-game winning streak, will try to bounce back Friday night against visiting Dallas.