THE DALLES – The Condon Blue Devils beat the Echo Cougars 55-53 in overtime on Friday night for a spot in the OSAA 1A State Tournament in Baker City.
Echo beat Condon by 15 points on February 12th and lost to Condon by 16 in December. Both teams were playing to win and came to the neutral court at The Dalles High School prepared for their opponent.
The game was played at a frenetic pace and both teams battled for the Big Sky’s third-place finish and spot in Baker City.
To start, both teams struggled to find their footing. The game was scoreless until the 5:45 mark in the 1st quarter.
The teams then traded buckets in the second quarter but Condon outrebounded the Cougars and fought for loose balls. Echo forced turnovers and substituted regularly.
At the half, Condon led 18-16.
In the second half the Blue Devils had momentum and clamped down on defense. Braden Carnine took a charge and then was fouled while shooting, sinking both free throws. On the next possession, Brody Geer made a 3-pointer to extend the lead to 25-21.
But Echo began to heat up midway through the third quarter. A three-pointer by Echo’s Dominic Curiel and a bucket in transition made the score 37-34 at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth, Condon leaned on their two seniors, Eduardo Barrera and Braden Carnine.
Barrera found openings in the Cougars defense and fed Carnine, who used cross-over pivots to get past Echo’s big man Mason Murdoch.
Just when it looked like Condon might pull away, Echo came roaring back. Back-to-back buckets by Murdoch and a steal and score by Tanner Arbogast tied the game at 45-45 with 1:12 to play.
Echo pulled ahead 48-47 with a score from Murdoch, and Condon then made one of two free-throws, sending the game to overtime at 51-51.
In overtime, Condon took control and their seniors led the way.
Barrera fed Carnine on the team’s first possession, making the score 53-51. Barrera then made two free throws to extend the lead to 55-51. But Echo wasn’t done. Echo made a bucket to make the score 55-53 and then got the ball back on a Condon turnover.
In their last set, the Cougars drew a foul but missed the front end of a one-and-one free throw. A lane violation on the next free-throw sealed it for Condon.