Story by PAUL WAGNER
The Barlow Bruins boys’ basketball team clinched a playoff berth in the Mt. Hood Conference by defeating the Centennial Eagles 35-27 on Friday night at Centennial High School.
The Bruins were able to hang on down the stretch behind senior Cody Powers, who scored seven of his team high 12 points in the final quarter to secure the win for Barlow.
It took Barlow over four minutes in the final period to score their first field goal and the 35 points is the second lowest total for the Bruins this season.
“We struggled trying to find a rhythm both offensively and defensively,” said Powers. “They were getting a lot of their own long rebounds which it’s hard to get rebounds when you are in zone defense but we were able to find guys get a lot of close shots next to the basket which really helped.”
“It was a good win for us because it was on the road and we kind of struggled offensively for quite a while but we played good enough defense to keep us in the game,” said Barlow head coach Tom Johnson.
Centennial kept it close at halftime only trailing by two points down 17-15 thanks in part to the play of junior Derek Melvin. Melvin scored 14 of the Eagles’ 15 first half points including four 3-point field goals.
The Bruin defense took over in the second half and held Melvin scoreless and Centennial only managed four points in the third quarter. Melvin led all scorers with 14 and the loss dropped the Eagles to 1-8 in the conference.
“He (Melvin) can shoot it and we knew that coming into the game,” said Johnson. “We went to man coverage most of the second half and we were able to locate him better. He got open against are zone in the first half.”
The win moves Barlow into sole possession of second place in the Mt. Hood Conference after David Douglas lost to Central Catholic. The Bruins are one game ahead of the Scots and must win against Reynolds on Tuesday to clinch the number two seed heading into the playoffs.
“The win is great, the closing stretch it is good to have momentum going into the playoffs. Coming off of a loss this really helps gather momentum,” said Powers.
Story by PAUL WAGNER