Puyallup Runs Past Rams on Rivalry Night
By Nic Beckman
|Friday- January 29th
|Rogers High School
The final night of regular season play in the SPSL-South had two Viking teams heading to South Hill. First place Curtis brought their 11-0 record into Emerald Ridge who were coming off their overtime win at Puyallup. The Jaguars were looking to knock off the top dog and secure the second spot in the division heading into post season play. Meanwhile, another Viking team was invading the opposite flank of the hill, Puyallup was at Rogers. This long standing rivalry game had meaning for both. Puyallup chasing Emerald Ridge for the second spot was in a must win situation after the one point OT loss to the Jags just three days ago. Rogers with only 4 wins in the division was in the spoiler role on senior night and claiming victory against a fierce rival provided incentive enough that would be a highlight of a tough season. Seniors Konnor Bandley’s 7 and Braden Hannold’s 10 points in the first quarter provided the push to give the Rams a 27-24 lead after the first. But Puyallup sophomore Landen Neff kept the Viks close hitting three 3’s and a field goal for 11.
As the adrenaline of the opening period started to dissipate the shooting cooled off but the intensity remained. At 3:01 of the second, the game was tied at 33, Jaden Vollmen at the rim and another Landen Neff 3 put the Viks up 38-33 at just under two minutes. The Rams responded with 5 of their own, Braden Hannold fouled on a tap back got the and one for his only points of the quarter tied the game again at 38 with 1:01 on the clock. The halftime score 38-38, Landen Neff leading all scorers with 15 on four 3’s in the half. Hannold leading the Rams with 13.
After a couple Rams baskets by seniors Daniel O’Brien and Hannold to get a 42-38 lead, PHS seniors Jaden Vollmen and Deven Neff each with 7 first half points got the Viks going in the third and went on a 10-0 run to put the Viks up 48-42. But O’Brien and the Rams responded with back to back scores and the lead was down to a possession. Vollmen with 10 third quarter points would give Puyallup a four point lead after three, Viks up 55-51.
Meanwhile, at Emerald Ridge, the Vikings of Curtis held a tenuous one point advantage at 55-54 over the Jaguars. The fourth quarter at both gyms would answer a lot of questions and maybe create a couple more depending on the final score.
At Rogers, defense would decide the outcome. The Vikings coach Scott Campbell had taken off the back court pressure most of the night had his team turn up the heat. Puyallup held the Rams to just 4 points in the first 4 minutes but the Rams defense and rebounding where keeping the Viks from pulling away, with 3:33 left Rogers was behind by just a couple of Deven Neff three’s at 61-55. Neff with a right handed tear drop in the lane stretched it to 63-55 followed by a Tyler Torgerson steal and basket had the Rams looking at a 10 point deficit with just 2:43 remaining. Puyallup would out score Rogers 17-6 in the fourth and finish going away, 8 by Deven Neff, 4 more by sophomore brother Landen. The sophomore would spoil senior night for the Rams and lead all scorers with 21. The difference in the defense showed up in the final quarter, but the difference in the score came from beyond the arc. Both teams with four 3’s to open the game, it was Puyallup who finished with 10 3’s, while the Rams could only tally one more for five 3’s on the night. The Final Score Vikings 72 Rams 57.
While final game congratulations were being handed out at Rogers the final from Emerald Ridge was being spread like wildfire. Curtis with five players in double digits lead by Aushanti Potts-Woods with 24 and Glenn Jordan with 15 held off the Jags Daniel Gregory’s 21 point night and Jason Cassens with 15 to get the second Viking win on South Hill Friday night, The Final Score 74-70.
Second place in the SPSL South is now the prize to be claimed at a neutral sight on Tuesday night. Emerald Ridge and Puyallup will face off for the second time in a week to see who will be the number 2 seed in the SPSL-South division heading into the playoffs.
The Final Score
Puyallup 72, Rogers-Puyallup 57.
Landen Neff- 21 points
Deven Neff- 18 points
Jaden Vollmen- 17 points
Braden Hannold- 18 points
Konnor Bandley- 14 points
Daniel O’Brien- 11 points