Neah-Kah-Nie holds off Greyhounds, 57-51
As far as season finales go, when Neah-Kah-Nie hosted Gaston Thursday, it was cliffhanger.
With 54 seconds left, the Pirates held a precarious 53-51 lead over a team that had already gobbled up much bigger leads earlier in the game.
By Brad Mosher
But a basket by Josh Elinsky with 29 seconds left was enough to assure the Pirates of another season.
Then a pair of free throws by Sam Holm with 14 seconds on the clock iced a 57-51 win.
The victory gave the Pirates a 15-10 record for the season and locked up fourth place in the Northwest League with a 12-6 record.
Both teams started off slowly, with Gaston ahead, 5-4, after the first quarter.
But it was the Pirates who got hot, taking advantage of Greyhound miscues to score 18 points – twice as much as Gaston – before going into the half with a 22-14 lead.
The Pirates had built up an 11-point lead until Tristan Lund hit a three-pointer at the buzzer.
Greyhounds keep rallying
The Pirates built up a 13-point lead early in the third quarter (29-16).
After Chase Dorsey hit a jumper with 5:45 left, the hosts still held a 31-20 advantage.
But the Greyhounds mounted a comeback that is seconds cut the lead to five (31-26).
Three baskets by Dorsey, Longfellow and A.J. Pieper pushed the Pirates back to a nine-point lead (37-28) going into the final minute.
But the Greyhounds rallied again with Riley Marshall hitting a pair of baskets in the final 49 seconds to cut the lead to just four points (37-33).
Just seconds into the final quarter of the final regular season game Gaston hit a free throw, cutting the lead to three points.
A pair of back-to-back baskets by Giorgio Nasi built the Pirate lead to seven (41-34) before the Greyhounds started another rally.
A pair of three-pointers by Lund and the Pirates answering with one of their own in the next 90 seconds left the Pirates holding a 46-42 lead.
Nasi sank a pair of free throws and added a basket with about five minutes left to give Neah-Kah-Nie a 50-42 lead.
After Lund scored after a Neah-Kah-Nie turnover with 2:07 left, the lead was just four points.
Holm hit a basket, expanding the Pirate gap to 53-47, just before Lund hit another three, cutting the lead back to 53-50.
With 54 seconds left, the Greyhounds added the team’s final point at the free throw line.
Then the Pirates closed out the scoring with a basket by Elinsky and two free throws by Holm.
Nasi ended up being the Pirates’ top gun for the evening with 10 of his 15 points coming in the final quarter. Dorsey finished with 11 points, including his three-pointer in the fourth quarter.
Elinsky added nine points, while Giovanni Barr hit for six points and Willie Davidson scored five. Both Josh Longfellow and Holm finished the game with four points each. A.J. Pieper scored three points.
The high scorer for the game was Lund, hitting four three-pointers on the way to 20 points against the Pirates. Marshall added 12 points and Jerry Lowery put in seven.
Coach Tim Gienger was just relieved that his Pirate crew held off the Greyhounds at the end.
“We played well enough to win, but we have some things to clean up. It was senior night and on senior night funny things happen.
“We finished off the game well. They (Gaston) kept coming back at us. They have some good shooters. Eventually, we were able to stop them,” the coach said.
“It is nice that we have 15 wins. That is something that we haven’t done for a long time. I am pretty proud of these guys,” he added.
The season is over.
The new season begins.
The Pirates will be back in action again when they host either Gaston or Nestucca next week.
Nestucca is hosting Gaston Monday, according to the Neah-Kah-Nie athletic director. The winner of that game will play probably Thursday in Rockaway Beach, he added.