PORTLAND — Deeper 3-point line, bigger court, it didn’t matter. Even without its best shooter, Chase Collins, the Adna boys basketball team rained down 3s on Castle Rock in a 49-44 win at the Moda Center Saturday.
The Pirates (7-1) made eight 3s, with four coming from sixth-man Seth Meister in the winning effort. With Collins nursing a hip injury he suffered early in the game, Meister came in and looked like a starter with a team-high 20 points.
“He can come in and bring so much energy,” Pirates coach Luke Salme said. “He was our best player on the court today. That was awesome. I’m glad he’s our sixth man, because he was big.”
It was a grind of a win for Adna, who dropped a similarly-played game against 2A Black Hills to open its season in a loss. Salme said that loss helped the Pirates win a game shorthanded, and with just a 35.2% performance from the field.
Though they made just eight of their 26 3-pointers, the Pirates’ defense was the ultimate difference in the win.
“We learned a lot in that game,” Salme said. “It was like this game; We didn’t control the tempo. We want to play fast, we want to play a million miles an hour, we want to shoot a million 3s, everyone knows it. That’s who we are and that’s what we’re going to do. We know it’s going to become a halfcourt grind, but if we can fight and scratch and claw our way to a win, that’s what good teams do.”
Meister provided the highlights, draining NBA-level 3s throughout the game to help the Pirates to a win, but the junior guard credited his teammates for finding him and others in big moments.
He also said, while the longer 3-point line might have been daunting for some, it wasn’t for the Pirates, who practice NBA-range 3s all the time.
“It was great,” Meister said. “It was amazing shooting NBA 3s too. It’s a whole different feeling. The whole court and the arena, everything is different.”
The experience is even sweeter with the win, but when the organizers over at the Moda Center invited Adna to this event, Salme didn’t hesitate. And though it was strange at times, Adna made strong memories at the Moda Center Saturday.
“It’s pretty amazing,” Salme said. “Seeing the kids facing when they walked in, taking it all in, it’s a pretty sweet thing. It was definitely memorable for all the kids.”
Adna travels to Chelan for a tournament its next time out after a short break, including a matchup with state title contender Okanogan, on Dec. 28.