Crater Boys Fall to Silverton in 5A Quarterfinals

Another double-double from sophomore Nate Bittle wasn't enough to overcome an onslaught of threes from Silverton Wednesday in the 5A state tournament.

Posted: Mar 7, 2019 12:42 AM
Updated: Mar 7, 2019 12:47 AM

CORVALLIS—The Crater boys basketball team saw its state title chances come to an end Wednesday at Gill Coliseum, as three-seed Silverton couldn't miss from three in the first half, and rode that to a 57-39 win in the 5A quarterfinals.

"The game plan was to run our zone,” head coach Chris Schmerbach said. “It's been good to us, it got us here, and we wanted to use that to defend the three. Unfortunately we lost a couple guys and they hit a couple tough ones. You got to give Silverton a lot of credit. They're a really good team, a really well-coached team, really veteran team. They're disciplined, ran their stuff and did a really good job."

The bulk of Silverton’s work came in the second quarter when it outscored Crater by 13.

Grant Dunn (12 points) and David Gonzalez (16 points) were especially hot, and the Foxes finished the half 7-of-10 from deep.

“I watched them against Springfield. Springfield doesn't play any zone and they hit six threes in the first quarter and they hit like 15 in the game,” Schmerbach said. “They're just a really good outside shooting team. To be able to do that at the state site is pretty impressive."

Crater’s bright spot was once again sophomore Nate Bittle.

He forced Silverton to rely on the success from deep, controlling the paint to the tune of eight blocks.

Offensively, he was the only Comet in double figures with 17 points.

"My shot was falling most of the time tonight and I did a good job getting to the rim, that's how I got most of my points,” Bittle said. “I just came in prepared to do the best I could and went out and tried to play my best."

But as Crater tried to make one last-ditch effort midway through the fourth, Bittle fouled out, a double-double in hand, but a deficit too big to overcome.

"The loss kind of hit me then just knowing that I was coming out and we were still down,” he said. “I was mostly just mad because we were down and I couldn't do enough to get my team back in it."

While Crater can no longer win a state title, the Comets do have a shot to extend their season.

They're in action Thursday in a consolation game against 10-seed Pendleton at 10:45 a.m.

If they win that, they'll be competing for fourth place on Saturday.

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