Inconsistency plagued Corvallis High through much of the first three quarters Friday night.
The fourth provided a window into what the Spartans can be.
CHS outscored visiting Eagle Point 36-7 in the final period, turning a spirited boys basketball nonleague contest into a 78-50 rout. The Spartans (2-2) put together a 25-0 run that lasted from late in the third quarter to the 4:37 mark of the fourth.
“When shots aren’t falling and things aren’t going your way, you can always control your energy and your effort,” senior point guard Dyshawn Hobson said. “Our bench got more involved and we had a lot of people step up big time.”
Twenty-two of the Spartans’ fourth-quarter points were scored by bench players. Hobson had 11 of his team-high 17 in the period.
CHS, which trailed by five at halftime, recorded the final six points of the third to cut Eagle Point’s lead to 43-42.
Max Johnson knocked down a 3-pointer on the opening possession of the fourth that put the Spartans up for good. It was the host’s first lead since the second quarter.
CHS didn’t let up as the Eagles (1-5) began to unravel. A Levi Scott old-fashioned 3 with 4:37 to play finally ended Eagle Point’s scoring drought.
“There was a difference in energy, effort and everyone staying engaged and involved,” Spartans coach Ross Duerfeldt said.
The Eagles, who scored 21 second-quarter points, had just 18 after halftime. CHS’ full-court man-to-man pressure created turnovers and baited Eagle Point into difficult shots.
“I think that is the first time all year that we pressed,” Hobson said. “We have a small team and you saw a glimpse of what we can do. We picked up full-court and had them rattled and uncomfortable. Their offense wasn’t super controlled, so we really made them go frantic and crazy with that.”
Twelve Spartans recorded points in the victory. JD Pinion trailed only Hobson with 11 while Isaac Gabriel (seven), Johnson (seven), Eugene Davis (six), Braydon Lebar (six) and Noah Greenblatt (six) weren’t far behind.
CHS used 12 players in the first half and 15 for the game.
“The guys that are getting in are all playing very, very well,” Duerfeldt said. “We love that it’s difficult for us to figure out what our rotations are going to be.”
Zakk Scott paced the Eagles with a game-high 19 points, 17 coming in the first half.
Davis and Pinion buried corner 3s on CHS’ first two possessions for a quick 6-0 advantage. The Spartans led 17-11 after the opening quarter.
Eagle Point caught fire late in the second period, putting together a 13-1 run to go up 32-24. A Roman Gabriel triple cut it to 32-27 at the break.
Ten Spartans scored in the opening half while Dennen Adams and Scott accounted for 26 of the Eagles’ 32 points.
Hobson is the lone returning varsity player for CHS, which graduated eight seniors off last year’s team that finished 15-9 overall and made the 5A state round of 16.
“I pride myself on leadership, so I like the challenge that it’s been to get these young guys involved,” said Hobson, an all-MWC honorable mention recipient as a junior. “The whole team just grows up before your eyes. You take a look at today, it was just their fourth varsity game and we had guys step up big time.”
Like any coach, Duerfeldt wants to see more consistency from his team as MWC play approaches.
Beginning Monday, the Spartans will participate in the four-day Capitol City Classic in Salem. CHS kicks off its MWC slate Jan. 9 against Dallas.
“It’s hard to replace as many guys as we lost, but the thing is we’ve got a lot of guys that are varsity athletes in other sports and know what it’s like to be a varsity athlete,” Duerfeldt said. “Right now it’s just a matter of repetition. We’ve only played four games and I think the further we get down our schedule, the fewer lulls we’ll have.”