UMATILLA - The second meeting between the Pilot Rock and Umatilla boys' basketball teams had a much different feel to it than when they met opening night.

The Vikings were not the team that scored just 64 points and lost by five to Pilot Rock and, for that matter, Pilot Rock wasn't the same team that was lights out at home in an impressive season opening victory.

That combination led to a statement win for Umatilla, 79-39 Monday.

Having not played for more than a week, the Rockets (5-1) showed their rust, shooting less than 30 percent from the field and only converting 4 of 12 from the free throw line.

The Vikings (6-1) appeared to have no such limitations, though, scoring 41 first-half points and following that with a game-clinching 22-point third quarter.

"It's just what we're capable of," said junior Austin Bieren, who saw his first action since being sidelined Dec. 5 with an ankle injury. "We know we can take it to the rim and get our baskets there. We just took advantage of it."

After missing almost a month of the basketball season Bieren showed no ill-effects playing almost the length of the second half. In that time he scored 10 points and ripped down four boards.

"Tonight was sort of a test for the ankle," Umatilla coach Tony Villanueva said. "Now in practices up to the Salem Tournament he'll be back in form. When he takes the ball to the hoop, he's tough inside. We have to have that physical body on offense and he gives that to us."

Bieren was one of three Vikings off the bench who gave the team a lift in the scoring effort as Kasey Pankey led all scorers with 19 points and Nathan Creason chipped in 12 to go along with nine rebounds.

Umatilla's relentless attack with its ability to go 10 or 11 deep into the bench was simply too much for the Rockets to overcome in their first action since Dec. 12.

According to coach Doug Baxter, Pilot Rock was not getting the same shots to fall that allowed it to beat the Vikings on the Rockets' home floor.

Tanner Mitchell led the effort for the Rockets with 10 points - including a pair of 3-pointers - but the swarming attack of Umatilla's defense made open looks hard to come by.

With a 15-point lead at the break, the Vikings clamped down even harder on defense, allowing just 13 points in the second half and a mere four points in the final quarter.

"The kids could have let down and not worked as hard but they didn't," Villanueva said. "They work just as hard at the end of the game, in the last 20 seconds, as they did in the first quarter. And that's because they have pride in the defense and pride in playing defense. Because of that we are a much better club."


PILOT ROCK        12     14     9     4 - 39

UMATILLA        16    25     22    16 - 79

PILOT ROCK (5-1) - Tanner Mitchell 10, Lane Byrnes 9, Chance Bandy 9, Jeremiah Grosjacques 4, Shane Mascall 4, Shane Lazinka 3, Kris Snodgrass, Tevin Dominguez, Jacob Wallis, Chance Norquist, Matt Benson.

UMATILLA (6-1) - Kasey Pankey 19, Steven Williams 16, Nathan Creason 12, Austin Bieren 10, Ruben Navarette 8, Levi Russell 6, Kiko Campos 6, Taylor Pankey 2, Peter Stice 1, Lee Bursell, Aaron Trukositz.

3-point field goals - Pilot Rock 3, Umatilla 2. Free throws - Pilot Rock 4-12, Umatilla 25-38. Fouls - Pilot Rock 26, Umatilla 15. Fouled out - Snodgrass, Grosjacques (Pilot Rock).


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