Crane splits final two HDL contests

Posted on February 13th in Sports
Loss to Jordan Valley leaves teams tied for first place
by Ramonda Thompson
for the Burns Times-Herald

Nic Nyman goes up strong to the basket against a Jordan Valley defender. (Photo by JENNIFER JENKS)

The Crane Mustangs boys varsity suffered a disappointing 51-44 loss to the visiting Jordan Valley Mustangs on Thursday, Feb. 7.

Crane jumped out to a 15-5 first-quarter lead, pushing the ball up the court and swarming the visiting team defensively. 
Over the second and third periods, however, Crane’s turnovers, missed shots and lack of offensive rebounding let Jordan Valley stay within single digits. Crane led 35-26 going into the final eight minutes. 
Jordan Valley hit a trey to start the last quarter, and the momentum swung their way. Jordan Valley took the lead, 41-40, at the 4:17 mark. Though the lead swung back and forth over three minutes, Jordan Valley took the lead for good at 48-44, after a foul and technical foul call set them up for four out of four at the foul line with 1:20 left on the clock.
Crane had chances to score over the final minute, but were unable to put any more points on the scoreboard. The visiting Mustangs went to the bonus line early, and a lot, in the fourth quarter. Jordan Valley outscored Crane 25-9 in the last period, including hitting 17 of 21 from the charity stripe in that time.
Nic Nyman led Crane with 17 points, Zalin Arritola scored 15, Tyler Opie nine, Nick Witzel two and Joe Valentine one. 
Opie pulled down 10 boards, all defensive, and Nyman seven.
On Friday, Feb. 8, Crane picked up a 43-32 road win over Huntington, and Jordan Valley kept pace with a 58-34 win over Adrian. Both Crane and Jordan Valley finished 9-1 in the league to tie for first place.
The teams now prepare for the 1A-8 High Desert League Tournament in John Day, Feb. 14-16. Crane will open the tournament by taking on Long Creek at 2:45 p.m. on Thursday, Feb. 14.
Crane’s junior varsity boys team finished out their season last week, splitting two close games against Grant Union and Jordan Valley.
At the Prospectors’ gym on Tuesday, Feb. 5, the Mustangs JV dropped a close game, 45-44. The one-point difference was in free throws made in the final quarter, as Grant Union sank all three of their attempts, while Crane hit just two of five from the line. 
Matt Witzel and Wyatt Starbuck led the Mustangs with 13 and 12 points, respectively. Quinton Nyman had nine points, William Clark six and Jack Bentz four.
On Thursday, Feb. 7, Crane hosted Jordan Valley, and held on for a narrow 35-33 victory. 
Bentz was high-point for Crane with nine points, Clark added eight, Starbuck seven, Witzel and Nyman three each and Riley Joyce one.

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