PORTLAND – C.J. Autry may never completely get over the anguish he felt last season, but he and his Bonny Eagle High teammates took a step in the right direction Saturday night.
Autry drilled a 3-pointer with 48 seconds remaining to give Bonny Eagle its first and only lead in a 45-44 victory against Deering in a SMAA boys’ basketball game.
“Last year was just an awful feeling,” said Autry, referring to a last-shot loss to the Rams in the Western Class A final. “It was good to get a win this time. It was hard work.”
Autry’s shot capped a fourth-quarter comeback by the Scots (5-1), who trailed by 10 in the opening moments of the period. Bonny Eagle was helped by Labson Abwoch, Deering’s skilled 6-foot-7 forward, fouling out with 31/2 minutes left.
“Abwoch is a great player,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Phil Bourassa. “Anytime you take him off the floor, it changes the dynamic of the game and you saw that tonight.”
Less than a minute later, the Scots got another break when Dominic Lauture, the Rams’ starting point guard, fouled out. Bonny Eagle capitalized with six straight to pull within 44-42.
Autry received an excellent pass from Dustin Cole, before hitting his shot from the corner.
“It was all teamwork,” Autry said. “We couldn’t have done it without each other. I was kind of just hoping (Cole) wouldn’t lose it. Then he made a great play. I was nervous but I knew the shot was going in once I shot it.”
The Rams were left with plenty of time, including a chance on an in-bounds play in the final seconds. As planned, the ball ended up with Thiwat Thiwat at the basket for a final shot. The ball did a full turn on the rim but spun out as time expired.
“We wanted something inside, five feet away from the basket,” said Deering Coach Dan LeGage. “We got a shot five feet from the basket and it rimmed in and out.
“We had our shot. As coaches, what you try to do is put your kids in a position to win.”
The first half was full of fouls — Deering was in the bonus with 21/2 minutes left in the first quarter — and neither team was able to create any lasting rhythm. The Rams led 14-9 after one and carried a 29-22 lead into the break.
Deering used an 8-3 run to close out the third quarter with a 37-29 advantage.
Cole paced the Scots with a game-high 18 points. Ben Malloy added 14.
Abwoch, who scored eight of his team’s first 10 points, led Deering with 14 points.