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York lifts Grants Pass over Crater

The senior guard pours in 25 and hits the game-winning shot with six seconds left

CENTRAL POINT - It was a fitting finale to one of Tyler York's best nights of basketball.

After scoring 23 points, the Grants Pass guard hit the game-winner with six seconds left on the clock to lift the Cavemen over Crater, 50-48, Friday night at Crater High School.

The senior struck from every angle, scoring from the outside and slipping past Comet defenders inside to post eight field goals, including two 3-pointers. He also went 7-for-8 from the line.

York said it was a combination of determination and luck that won the game for the Cavemen.

"Right now we are feeling kind of lucky," York said. "We came in and stole it from them. We were hesitant to start, but we worked our butts off in the last few minutes."

The victory keeps Grants Pass (18-4 overall, 10-3 SOC) tied with Roseburg for second place in the Southern Oregon Conference. Both teams have lost to South Medford (22-1, 13-0 SOC) and split their two meetings.

Crater (13-10, 6-7 SOC) remains fifth in the SOC, one game behind Klamath Union (7-6 SOC) with one regular-season game remaining.

After trailing by as many as 10 points in the first half, the Cavemen jumped into the lead in the final three minutes of the third quarter.

The fourth quarter then proved to be an intense tug-of-war as the two teams exchanged leads five times and were tied on three occasions.

A Chris Pettegrew 3-pointer tied it up, 48-48, with 17 seconds to go, but it was York's remarkable drive to the basket and lay-up that won the game for the Cavemen.

"It was just that we needed to get a good shot," York said. "I got a great look on the drive. It was the best play we ran all night."

Grants Pass head coach Bill Cowell said Crater played "with great energy all night."

"Every time we got up, they came back with a great shot," Cowell said. "But our guys did a great job of keeping our composure through the whole game. ... Tyler York carried us."

York's 25 points provided half of Grants Pass' offense. Senior guard Tom Cohen scored 12 points for Grants Pass while Crater held forward Brant Minor to just five.

"York was a stud tonight," Crater head coach Matt Meunier said. "Defensively we played super. We kept Grants Pass to 50 points. Half those points were by York and he worked to get them."

Senior guard Derek Petersen led Crater with 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Junior post Andrew Norum scored 10 points and grabbed 14 rebounds - 11 in the first half.

The Comets led 16-8 after the first quarter and pulled ahead, 20-10, 30 seconds into the second quarter when Petersen hit a 3-pointer, was fouled and added the bonus point.

A basket and more free throws by York cut the lead to five with 4:40 remaining in the half.

Neither team scored for the next 3:30, but both teams traded baskets in the closing minute. Crater led 22-18 at halftime.

Grants Pass used a 9-0 run midway through the third quarter to pull ahead, 33-28, with 2:33 left in the third quarter. The Cavemen led by just two points going into the final quarter.

The contest was tied, 40-40, with 3:20 remaining when Crater jumped into the lead on Petersen's final 3-pointer. Ron Davis scored with 2:58 remaining to give the Comets their final lead, 45-44.

A minute later, Kory Mahr scored on a steal to put Grants Pass up by a point. York was fouled and hit two free throws with 38 seconds remaining to give the Cavemen the edge, 48-45.

The Cavemen swarmed Norum under the basket, but a perfect pass to an open Pettegrew turned into the game-tying score.

But as has happened all too often for the Comets this season, it was York and the Cavemen who had the last laugh.

"I think it was our hearts that won it for us," York said. "It wasn't our best game. We didn't play great defense. We didn't play great offense. But we came through in the end."

Grants Pass travels to Ashland (1-12 SOC) on Tuesday, while North Medford (4-9 SOC) plays host to Crater to close the regular season. A win assures the Cavemen at least a share of second place in the SOC, with Roseburg playing host to Eagle Point (1-12 SOC) Tuesday night.

Crater must beat North and hope for a South Medford road win over Klamath Union to force a playoff with the Pelicans for the fourth and final playoff spot in the SOC.

GRANTS PASS (50) - Cohen 12, York 25, Minor 5, Voges 2, Matthews 0, Bailey 1, Mahr 4, Chamberlain 2. Totals: 18 11-16 50.

CRATER (48) - Goff 0, Petersen 13, Norum 10, Goode 2, Gugliotta 8, Ryan 6, Davis 6, Pettegrew 3. Totals: 19 7-9 48.

Grants Pass ......................................... 8 10 17 15 - 50

Crater ................................................... 16 6 11 15 - 48

3-point goals - Grants Pass — (York 2, Cohen 1). Crater 4 (Petersen 3, Pettegrew 1).

JV score - Grants Pass 60, Crater 49.

Crater's Brian Goode, left, looks to pass the ball around the Grants Pass defense of Tyler York (15) and Bruce Voges in Friday night's SOC game. - Mail Tribune / Drew Fleming