When it mattered most, Cottage Grove got the job done.
In a game that neither team led by more than five points throughout regulation, it was the Lions (5-15, 3-3 Sky-Em) coming up big in overtime on Friday night against Siuslaw (5-15, 0-6) to take a 58-50 league win.
“We knew that we just needed to be able to go out there and execute what we do,” said Cottage Grove senior Dylan Graves who finished with 15 points. “We beat them last time and we weren’t playing our best basketball (tonight) so we knew we needed to create the energy and get it higher just so we can execute what we do.”
In the final minutes of the fourth quarter, the Lions were able to do just enough late to force the extra session. The Vikings took the lead with 17 seconds to play after Caleb Hennessee hit a free throw to complete a three-point play. Down one, the clock ticked away as the Lions looked for an open shot. Freshman guard Landon Colburn fired in a pass to Jasper Nichols-Ferguson who was fouled on a lay-up with 2.8 seconds to play. Ferguson missed the first, which prompted a Siuslaw timeout, and hit the second to send the game to overtime.
“They were definitely back and forth. When we scored then the crowd was going nuts and then they got that and one and their crowd was going nuts so emotions were back and forth,” said Graves. “But Jasper was hitting that free throw. I told him to stick out his hand and his hand was going 100 miles per hour but he hit it and it was awesome.”
Once in overtime, the Lions were able to take off – including a pair of lay-ups from Nichols-Ferguson to start the scoring for Cottage Grove – and outscored Siuslaw 10-2 on their way to the team’s third league win of the season. Nichols-Ferguson finished with 15 points for Cottage Grove while Creed Lufkin and Colburn each had 12.
Cottage Grove played Marshfield yesterday (after The Sentinel’s print deadline) and travel to Elmira on Friday. The team will finish the season at home next week with games against Junction City and Marist.