Tyler Newsom scored 31 points and hauled down eight rebounds, but it wouldn’t be enough as Pendleton dropped its 5A state consolation game to Crater 78-62 on Thursday morning at Gill Coliseum in Corvallis.
“I can’t complain, but I wish we would have had a better showing at state,” Bucks coach Zach Dong said. “Every team at the state tournament is good. It’s tough we don’t see that level of competition in our conference. It is a whole other level and it’s tough to adjust to.”
Coupled with a 70-40 loss to Wilsonville in Wednesday’s quarterfinals, the Bucks went 0-2 in Corvallis and finished the season 17-7.
The Comets (19-9) will play Thurston at 8 a.m. Saturday in the fourth-place game.
Crater’s 6-foot-10 sophomore Nate Bittle was a bit more than Pendleton could handle on Thursday morning.
Bittle finished with 40 points — evenly spread throughout the game — 16 rebounds and 10 blocked shots — a single-game state tournament record for any classification.
The previous record of nine was held by five different players. With eight blocks against Silverton on Wednesday, Bittle surpassed the state record of 17, set by Don Carter of Corbett in 1994.
“He is as advertised,” Dong said of Bittle. “They do a good job camping him out by the hoop, and you get anywhere close and he’s going to swat it. Offensively, he can shoot it. At 6-10, there’s not much you are going to do about it.”
The Bucks and Comets played an even first quarter, with Crater holding an 18-14 lead. Pendleton led 10-9 with 2:43 to play in the first, but Crater would finish the quarter with a 9-4 run to pull ahead.
Crater took control of the game in the second with a 28-9 run to lead 46-23 at the half.
“You dig yourself a hole against these teams, it’s hard to get out,” Dong said.
Pendleton had the upper hand in the second half, outscoring the Comets 39-32, but the hole was too big to climb out of.
Dakota Sams added 17 points for the Bucks, while Redmond O’Hanlon chipped in 10, with six coming in the fourth quarter. O’Hanlon also and 11 rebounds.
“Dakota did a good job, just a little bit too late,” Dong said. “We didn’t start playing until the third quarter.”
Bittle scored 13 of his points in the third quarter as the Comets held a 63-44 lead.
“He is going to be a force to be reckoned with the next two years,” Dong said.
Nathan Horton and Kruger Edwards each had 15 points for Crater, while Jayden Vranes had seven points and nine assists.