Mexico boys remain unbeaten

Dave Faries

Daeye Miller could only shake his head and laugh.

Lined up for a possible rebound on a free throw, a rival from Eugene pointed out that Miller and the Bulldogs were the biggest team they had faced all season. But the Eagles back line all stood at least two inches taller than Mexico’s big men.

So Miller was perplexed. “You all are taller than all of us,” he responded.

What wasn’t in question was the outcome. The Bulldogs traveled to Eugene on Friday and battered the hosts 66-35. Yet Mexico had to wait until halftime and some adjustments before pouring it on.

At the break Mexico was up 28-23, and the issue was in doubt. In the first half Dante Billups came up with a loose ball, dished to Peyton Willer, who found Isaiah Reams open for a three. Moments later Drew Blevins tucked in a baby hook.

But the Eagles would not nest. Tyler Renn sank a seven-footer and then sank two from the line. Kyle Bond joined him, hitting two of two before ending the half with an easy jumper.

“Defensively we weren’t playing our best,” observed Mexico’s head coach Darren Pappas. “Offensively we were stagnant – that would be a good word for it.”

That the Bulldogs outscored Eugene 38-12 in the second half had to do with patience, finding the open man. Just after the break, Reams fired to Jordan Mitchell on a fast break. Midway through the third, Miller reached out to Blevins, who knocked one down off the glass.

Late in the period, Reams tossed inside to Miller in the paint. He then looked beyond the arc to Willer, who drained a three.

“We did a better job of moving the ball with the pass in the second half,” Pappas said.

A flurry by Michael White early in the final period sealed the matter. He curled in and put in a semi-dunk, followed with a lay up and the took an unanticipated toss from Miller to the rim – a personal 6-0 run that made it a 49-29 game.

“I was surprised,” White said of the final basket. “I thought he was going to put it up.”

Miller had stepped in between an inbound pass and its intended receiver, winding up with the ball under the glass. Instead of going up, he saw White streaking into the paint and offered an assist.

Reams had 14 points on the night, with Blevins added 12. Miller put in 8, but he also took three charges and fed the hungry Mexico offense.

“He just does it all,” coach Pappas said of Miller. “We fed off of his energy.”

Willer and White scored 6 apiece, while Jordan Mitchell tossed in 4.

Pappas was able to clear the bench late in the game. So Anthony Shivers hit for two, as did Dominic McKeown. Brayden Dunn sank a late three. And Ty Prince tacked on a two.

Prince was hurt late in the fall football season. Friday was his first action since, and he admitted to being a bit rusty.

“It’s a whole different speed between game and practice,” he said.


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