Prep boys basketball roundup: Powder Valley defeats Umatilla on wild buzzer-beater

·2 min read

Jan. 14—UMATILLA — In a back-and-forth contest, the Powder Valley boys basketball team came away with a thrilling win on Thursday night. The Badgers earned an victory on the road over 3A opponent Umatilla on Thursday, Jan. 13, scoring the final bucket with just .4 seconds remaining.

After having trailed by a slim margin for most of the game, the outcome came down to one last inbound play with the Badgers and Vikings tied at 44-44. A lob to senior forward Kaden Krieger missed the target and bounced to the free-throw line, where Krieger scooped the ball and scored to give Powder Valley a decisive 46-44 advantage.

"It was a good game for us against a really fast team," head coach Kyle Dixon said.

The game got off to a slow start as both offenses looked to get in rhythm. Umatilla held a commanding 14-3 lead after the first quarter, but Powder Valley managed to cut the lead to 20-16 at halftime. It was a balanced scoring effort for the Badgers throughout the game, with Clay Martin scoring five points in each half. Martin and Kaiden Dalke both led the team with 10 points each.

The Vikings snapped back into form in the third quarter and extended their narrow lead to 34-26 heading into the final frame. Krieger was strong in the fourth quarter, scoring six of his nine points in the last eight minutes.

With the game on the line, the senior converted the clutch shot to secure Powder Valley's fifth straight win of the season. The Badgers increased their record to 13-1 on the year and maintained their No. 1 spot in the OSAA 1A rankings.

"It was a good win for us," Dixon said. "We just play hard. We're ready to go."

Besides a loss to Adrian on Dec. 27, the Badgers have been perfect on the year. Umatilla is the first of two more non-league matchups against higher classifications, with Powder Valley set to play at La Grande in its next matchup on Jan. 18 and at Baker on Feb. 5.

A previously scheduled matchup at Griswold on Jan. 15 was cancelled due to COVID-19 precautions, so the Badgers will have four days off before facing the Tigers. Tip-off at La Grande High School is set for 7:30 p.m.

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