Puyallup Secures 2nd Place in SPSL-South Over Jags

Puyallup Runs Past Rams on Rivalry Night
By Nic Beckman

Tuesday- February 2nd 2016 Boys 4A SPSL-South
Spanaway Lake High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th Final
Emerald Ridge 10 12 11 11 44
Puyallup 10 10 16 20 56

Emerald Ridge and Puyallup played at Spanaway Lake on Tuesday night to determine the number 2 and 3 seeds for the SPSL South. One week ago these two teams played to a one point, 55-54 overtime win for the Jaguars at PHS. Puyallup still without second leading scorer Tony Gutierrez suffering from a quadriceps contusion, has had to adjust their play down the stretch. The lingering injury and treatment has kept the senior off the court for nearly a month to end the regular season. Gutierrez hopes to be back for playoff action on Thursday night. The Vikings have relied on a number of other players to step up to fill the void. Emerald Ridge coach Pat Mullen and Viking coach Scott Campbell had their teams ready to play and the first quarter was indicative of these teams familiarity with each other. The Jags Daniel Gregory and Viking Deven Neff each with a pair of 3’s had their teams tied at 10 after the first quarter. The second period had the Jaguars hitting four from beyond the arc two from Donald Bango while Puyallup made 4 of 5 free throws and converted in the paint to keep it close. At the half Emerald Ridge held a 2 point lead 22-20. Vikings Deven Neff would lead all scorers with 8 at the half and Daniel Gregory had 7 for the Jags.

The opening of the second half saw the Vikings start with 3 turnovers and ER’s Chase McGuire with back to back buckets gave the Jags their largest lead at 26-20 with 6:37 left in the quarter. Coach Campbell called time out to settle his team. The Vikings responded as Jaden Vollmen and Brennan Winter with a pair of baskets followed by a Deven Neff 3, put the Viks up 27-26. Andrew Boston put the Jaguars back on top with a bucket inside. Jaden Vollmen with a dime to Brooks Ballmer under the hoop followed it up with two hard drives to the rim and Puyallup was up 33-30. ER had problems from the free throw going 1-5 in the third. Chase McGuire would add another field goal for all 6 of his points on the night, but Puyallup’s leading scorer Deven Neff with a pair of 3’s and strong move in the lane, would get 8 of his game high 17 and the Vikings out scored ER 16-11 in the period to take the lead at 36-33 heading into the fourth.

Fouls mounted for PHS and Emerald Ridge got to the line early in the fourth, where they collected 5 of 9 for half of their quarter total. On the other end, Puyallup gained momentum from sophomore Landen Neff, who converted at the rim twice and Brennan Winter stepped up and knocked down a 3 and the Vikings built a 9 point lead at 45-36. Winter who did a great job rebounding also put in 13 points for his team helping to fill the Gutierrez void. Jaden Vollmen continued to push the pace for the Vikings keeping the pressure on Emerald Ridge. Vollmen would tally 14 for Puyallup. Jags senior Raeshon Scales with a pair of 3’s in the first half tried to keep his team in it with two jumpers just inside the arc, would finish with a team high 10 points. A Tyler Torgerson 3 put the Viks on top 50-39 giving them their largest lead of the night at 2:50 left in regulation. The lead forced the Jags to foul PHS with the clock winding under 2 minutes, but with only 3 fouls in the half cost Emerald Ridge nearly 30 seconds as ER tried to get the Vikings into the bonus. Puyallup would hit 6 of 8 from the line to close out the game. Puyallup’s top 3 scorers would equal the total ER output as Brennan Winter with a season high 13, Jaden Vollmen’s 14, combined with Deven Neff’s 17 would secure the #2 seed from the SPSL South. The Final Score Vikings 56 Jaguars 44.

Emerald Ridge will face the winner of Kent Meridian vs Rogers on Saturday at 6pm as the #3 seed to gain either the 7th or 9th seed from the SPSL heading into West Central District III play. #2 seed Puyallup will see Kentridge at the ShoWare on Thursday, the winner getting the SPSL #4 seed, the loser will play Jefferson on Saturday for either the SPSL #5 or #6 seed.

The Final Score
Puyallup 72, Rogers-Puyallup 57.

Top Performers:
Deven Neff- 17 points
Jaden Vollmen- 14 points
Brennan Winter- 13 points

Emerald Ridge
Raeshon Scales- 10 points
Daniel Gregory- 8 points
Donald Bango- 7 points

Emerald Ridge Escapes Overtime Thriller With Viks

Emerald Ridge Escapes Overtime Thriller With Viks
By Nic Beckman

Tuesday- January 19th 2016 Boys 4A SPSL
Puyallup High School 1st 2nd 3rd 4th OT Final
Puyallup 10 12 12 16 4 54
Emerald Ridge 16 13 11 10 5 55

As the regular season winds down, the games gain significance for teams at the top of their divisions and Tuesday night was one of those nights. Curtis has clinched the SPSL South top spot at 11-0 with one game remaining, but the number 2 through 4 positions are going to be decided between Emerald Ridge, Puyallup and Spanaway Lake. Spanaway Lake was at Rogers and the Jaguars came down from South Hill to take on the Vikings looking to avenge the 48-43 loss PHS gave them at the jungle in the first game of the new year on January 5th.

The Paul B. Hanawalt Pavilion was rocking Tuesday night , it was senior night for the Viks and Emerlad Ridge was in the house. ER coach Pat Mullen had is Jaguars ready to play, the junior dominant team handled the Viking pressure early. The Jags Jason Cassens and Tevin McClain combined for the first 10 ER points and got up 10-4. Cassens would finish with 11 points, McClain with 8. Puyallup, again playing without their second leading scorer, Tony Gutierrez still hobbled by a quadriceps contusion and sophomore starter Jacob Holcomb, looked to find scoring elsewhere. The first quarter would end 16-10. In the second quarter, Viking leading scorer senior Deven Neff got going with a pair of 3’s and a couple of buckets in the lane for 10 of Puyallup’s 12 in the period and the Jags held pace with 13 of their own to head to the locker room up 29-22 at the half. Deven Neff with 11 in the half would lead all scorers and come out in the third quarter to repeat his performance of the second, getting two more 3’s enroute to 10 of the Viks 12 in the first 8 minutes of the second half. Puyallup would cut the lead to one at 33-32 with 3:19 remaining in the third, but Emerald Ridge would keep their poise and push the lead back to 6, leading 40-34 heading into the final period. Puyallup tried to stay within striking range as Jags Daniel Gregory fouled on a jumper hit the and one to put the score at 44-38 with 5:10 on the clock. But the Vikings kept coming, Brooks Balmer with a bucket and the ER lead was 44-40 with 4 minutes left. Balmer would go 4-4 from the line and finish with 8. The Viks would also get help from junior Myles Smith who hit two 3’s coming off the bench, the second at 1:46 to again cut the Jaguar lead to just one at 49-48. Andrew Boston at the line for ER with under a minute hit 1of 2 to set the score at 50-48 with less than 30 seconds remaining in regulation. A baseline drive with the clock winding down by senior Tyler Torgerson who went up and under for a reverse off the glass as the buzzer sounded fell in and the crowd went wild. This game was tied at 50 and was headed to overtime.

Sophomore Landen Neff gave Puyallup their first lead at 51-50 at 3:46 of the OT period. Points always a premium became even harder in the overtime as both teams battled for the lead. Daniel Gregory hit a runner in the lane to get the lead back for Emerald Ridge and would finish with a team high 15 points and the Jags looked to have the game in hand as they would get 8 free throws in the extra time but could only convert 3 of them. Leaving the door open for PHS. Puyallup couldn’t find their range from beyond the arc, but we’re able to corral offensive rebounds the most critical by Jaden Vollmen who fell to his back on a play at the rim, but as the ball was tipped around dropped in his hands while he was on the floor and he was able to loft it out to a team mate and Vikings coach Scott Campbell called time out with just 6 ticks remaining on the clock, down 55-54. Before the inbound coach Mullen called another time out to set his defense. On the ensuing inbounds the Vikings were forced to throw the ball into back court to get it in the hands of Jaden Vollmen. With seconds ticking off, Vollmen was able to get into range and launched a high arcing 3 for the game winner, it hit the rim and before Deven Neff could put it back, time expired and the Jaguars had the OT win 55-54. Neff would lead all scorers with 22 points, Vollmen would finish with 11. The win by ER puts them at 8-3 in control of the number 2 spot, for now. The Jags will be facing 11-0 Curtis at home in the jungle on Friday night, while Puyallup 7-4 heads up to a 4-6 Rogers team, who beat Spanaway Lake 61-55 Tuesday night. Putting the Sentinels at 7-5 on the outside looking in and setting up a must win rivalry game for the Vikings against the Rams on Friday. The close of the regular season in the SPSL South still with questions to be answered is going down to the wire.

The Final Score
Emerald Ridge 55, Puyallup 54.

Top Performers:
Emerald Ridge
Daniel Gregory- 15 points
Jason Cassens- 11 points
Tevin McClain- 8 points

Deven Neff- 22 points
Jaden Vollmen- 11 points
Brooks Balmer- 8 points