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Blue Devils’ Late Rally Ends Lumberjacks’ Season

By Staff | Mar 9, 2016

Photos by Bruce Crawford Valley coach John Kocher gives his starters instruction during a second half timeout against St Marys in the Region I, Section II semifinals.

St. Marys fought back from a double-digit deficit late in the second half to knock off Valley, 70-61, in the Region I, Section II semi-finals March 2 inside the MHS HammerDome.

The St. Marys Blue Devils raced out to a 17-8 lead in the first half of period one, but the Lumberjacks closed the quarter with a 12-6 run to fall in the rears, 23-20, after the first eight minutes of play.

Valley was down 32-23 midway through period two, before closing out the first half with a 10-0 run that was was finished by a Levi Streets’ three-ball and a Tucker Brown jumper to give them a 33-31 lead at the break.

The Lumberjacks opened the second half with a 7-0 run to push the rally to 17-0, and pushed its advantage to 40-31 that was capped off by a pair of Alex Midcap free throws around the 6:30 mark of the third period.

The Blue Devils ended the ‘Jacks’ run with a two-pointer. However, Midcap worked his magic once more to give the Lumberjacks a 47-39 advantage.

Valley senior point guard Trey Streets takes it hard to the hole in between two St. Marys defenders, while teammate Dylan Irvin looks to get the rebound.

However, the Blue Devils had some magic of their own and scored the game’s next seven points to take a 47-46. The ‘Jacks’ Joey Preat got into the scoring column with two points, giving Valley the lead once again. However, St. Marys hit a couple more charity tosses at the end of the third period, and then went on a 9-0 run to grab a 61-55 lead with 1:35 remaining in regulation.

Valley would close the gap to a deuce a couple more times, but the Devils put the final nails in the coffin, scoring the game’s final seven points to advance to the Region I, Section II championship.

Anthony Johnson paced the Blue Devils with 22 points, while Wil Billeter and Sam Kincaid tallied 19 and 18 points, respectively.

Valley’s Trey Streets tallied a team-high 20 points, including a trio of three-point bombs, while Cain and Dylan Irvin tallied 13 and 11 points, respectively.

In addition, Midcap contributed eight points, while Preat tallied six points, and Levi Streets sank a basket from beyond the arc. “This is probably one of my best teams, if not the best team I’ve had in a long time,” Valley boys’ basketball coach John Kocher said. “There are a lot of kids with tremendous athletic ability.

The Lumberjacks’ Tucker Cain lets loose a jumper at the top of the key.

That makes it tough with three seniors who I had for four years. That makes it tough ending it this way, but that is just the way it goes.”

Seniors playing their last varsity high school game were Tucker Cain and Trey Streets, who both tallied 1,000 points for their careers, and Joey Preat.

However, the Lumberjacks will return starters Dylan Irvin and Alex Midcap. In addition the ‘Jacks will welcome back Levi Streets, Peyton Bassett, Tyler Kocher and many others.