Price propels Comets past Corvallis
CENTRAL POINT — As he watched film on Corvallis earlier this week, Crater head coach Brian Broaddus noticed something in the Spartans’ defense that he thought his Comets could exploit.
It involved getting Logan Price the ball.
Over. And over. And over again.
A wing on paper, Price did much of his work in the paint Friday night, scoring a game-high 33 points to power sixth-seeded Crater to a 72-38 runaway win over No. 11 Corvallis in the opening round of the Class 5A boys basketball state playoffs.
“I’ve been averaging around 17 for the last six games and I’ve just been getting the ball down low and going up,” said Price, a 6-foot-3 senior. “I think I had the first eight or 10 (points of the game), so I just decided to keep punching it down. My teammates kept driving and dishing it to me and giving me some easy ones.”
Simply put: Crater’s game plan could not have been executed any better.
“Watching film, Corvallis doesn’t have anybody above 6-foot-4 and Crescent Valley really hurt them inside (on Feb. 15), so that was part of the game plan,” Broaddus said. “I didn’t know he would be 33 with 12 or 13 boards, but I told him that he’s going to have a 20-12 night. The other guys did a really good job of finding him and he stepped up. Early in the season, he might have missed some of those with the contact, but tonight he made them.”
With the victory, Crater (21-5) advanced to the state tournament at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis for the fourth time in as many chances since the 2017-18 season. The Comets will put their six-game winning streak on the line in the 5A quarterfinals against No. 3 Wilsonville (24-2), which beat Central 47-34 on Friday night, at 6:30 p.m. Wednesday.
Crater will be the third different team Broaddus — an Oregon State alum — has coached at the state tournament, previously getting to Gill with Pendleton and Mountain View.
Crater is also part of a Midwestern League contingent that will occupy four of the eight spots at the 5A tournament, with regular-season champion Churchill, Eagle Point and Ashland all winning their opening-round games Friday.
“It’s a big deal,” said Price. “We only have two league titles here (at Crater), we don’t have a state championship. That would be something really big. We feel like our team was a little under-ranked at No. 6, but we’ll get to play a good Wilsonville team next.”
Price’s memory served him right, having scored Crater’s first eight points, as his fourth basket in the paint gave the Comets an 8-6 lead 5 1/2 minutes in and forced a Corvallis timeout.
It was a trend the Spartans (15-10) were going to get used to seeing.
Price recorded 12 of Crater’s first 15 points, leading the way as the Comets built a 15-11 lead after the opening quarter.
At halftime, Crater held a 26-19 lead, with Price scoring 18 of those points, including a thunderous dunk in transition after taking a pass from over the top of the Corvallis defense.
Only two other Comets scored in the opening half, with senior Tate Broesder recording five points and Ashton Acrey hitting a 3-pointer in front of the Corvallis bench late in the first quarter.
“He’s been improving and really getting strong the last five or six games,” said Broaddus of Price. “He’s been getting more confidence and we’ve been using him more.”
It was the third quarter where Crater truly pulled away.
And as much as getting the ball to Price down low was a priority, not letting the third quarter become an issue like in previous games was as well.
There were no third-quarter issues Friday night, as the Comets outscored the Spartans 22-6 to open up a 48-25 lead. Crater’s first-double digit lead of the night came thanks to an 11-0 run to open the period, with six of those points coming from senior Colton Vranes.
The Price twins, Logan and Kadin, took it from there, scoring Crater’s final 11 third-quarter points to put plenty of distance between themselves and Corvallis.
“The last two games, we’ve been underperforming in the third quarter,” said Logan Price. “We said, ‘Hey, we have to go out there and actually do something in the third quarter because that’s not going to work at Gill. We went out there and it was a good quarter. We were just running the floor and I think (Corvallis) got a little tired.”
The secret to finally finding the elusive third-quarter success?
“We changed our defense just to get something new going, and it was definitely a point of emphasis to run,” said Broaddus. “Corvallis, they’re not super deep. They have three or four tough kids that play all game and I think they definitely wore down a bit.”
Kadin Price finished with 13 points, all of which came after halftime. Broesder and fellow senior Colton Vranes both finished with eight points.
Junior post Owen Sahnow led Corvallis with eight points, while seniors Karsten Sullivan and Nate Thompson both had seven.
“The first quarter was their pace, not ours,” said Broaddus. “Once we run and we quit dribbling, we got in a stretch where the ball didn’t touch the floor. It was one pass, two pass, three and layup — that’s pretty hard to defend. They were really crashing the offensive boards hard with three guys, so if we could rip it, it’s 3-on-2 every time. They did it, it worked and we’re moving on.”
CORVALLIS (38): Arora 0, Wright 3, Johnson 3, Ke. Sullivan 6, Robel 2, Ka. Sullivan 7, Sahnow 8, Thompson 7, Cronn 2. Totals: 14 5-11 38.
CRATER (72): Acrey 3, Lasater 5, Vranes 8, Smith 0, L. Price 33, Idiart 2, Dutkiewicz 0, K. Price 13, Higginson 0, Broesder 8. Totals: 28 12-17 72.
3-point goals — Corvallis 5 (Johnson 1, Ke. Sullivan 1, Ka. Sullivan 1, Sahnow 2), Crater 4 (Acrey 1, Lasater 1, Broesder 2). Technical foul — Thompson.
Reach reporter Danny Penza at 541-776-4469 or email@example.com. Follow him on Twitter @penzatopaper.