Sweet Home — A week ago, the Woodburn Bulldogs were coming off a tough loss to Stayton in the SCTC Invitational Tournament, a loss that every Bulldog felt was completely avoidable. Flip to the week after, and Woodburn is riding its biggest high of the season, coming up with a Tuesday win over undefeated, 5A #1 South Albany and over conference rival Sweet Home to open up Oregon West Play on Friday.
Tomas Veliz’s opening bucket and follow up trey put Woodburn ahead 5-0 to open up against Sweet Home. After trading buckets in a 7-2 game, Sweet Home’s 5-0 run capped by a Hunter Coulter trey tied it up a seven points apiece. Now with the Huskies leading 10-9, Woodburn’s 5-0 run handed them the lead back 14-10, and the Bulldogs would lead 17-14 after one quarter of play. The second quarter featured a lot of back and forth action, with both teams trading runs of no larger than 4-0, as they battled hard in the second quarter with Woodburn ultimately leading 30-26 at the half over Sweet Home.
The Huskies opened the third on a 3-0 run to cut the lead to 30-29, but after trading buckets with Woodburn, the Bulldogs went on a 5-0 run to retake the lead 36-32 over Sweet Home early in the third. Another 5-0 run after a Sweet Home free throw made it a 41-33 game in favor of the Bulldogs. Trailing 44-35, Sweet Home’s 4-0 run cut the advantage to 44-39, and another 5-0 run shortly afterwards made it 46-44 Bulldogs as Woodburn still led 48-46 after three quarters of play.
Woodburn started the final quarter with a pair of free throws, but a 6-0 Sweet Home run allowed the Huskies to storm back to take the lead 52-50 over Woodburn. After trading free throws, Woodburn’s 4-0 run gave them the lead back 55-53 midway through the fourth quarter. Aiden Tyler would drill three consecutive free throws to hand Sweet Home the lead back 56-55, but Woodburn fought back with a 5-0 run to seize a 60-56 lead late, hanging on with free throws to take the win 62-58 and cap a week of quality victories.
With a pair of statement victories in their back pocket, Woodburn has firmly inserted themselves into the 4A contention discussion. Cole Beyer discussed the victory afterwards and the road forward for the newly minted, contending Bulldogs.
Cole Beyer on the team mood after their big week, “Obviously we’re very happy to scrape out the win, but we know we can get a lot better and we know we’re only going to get better. We’re looking forward to playing Sweet Home again and the rest of league play.”
Cole Beyer on the team strengths, “Things we bring to the table are our overall team depth. We come in waves, so we don’t have the same group out there doing all the work, so one of our biggest strengths is having all of those guys that can come in and replace any other guy out there. Any guy can have their night.”
Cole Beyer on finding consistency, “We need to value the ball better because our turnovers are killing us, so the more we value the ball the better we’re going to be.”
Woodburn (8-3, 1-0) hosts Corbett on Monday, Sweet Home (9-3, 0-1) travels to Philomath on Tuesday.