Crater junior RJ Morgan (35) attempts a shot past Grants Pass' Micah Johnson during Friday's game. - Photo by Larry Stauth

Comets go cold

CENTRAL POINT — Although the game of basketball has evolved significantly since James Naismith's era of innovation, the goal has essentially always remained the same: Get the ball in the basket.

When the ball doesn't go in, the result is often unfavorable — just ask the Crater boys basketball team, whose uncharacteristically cold shooting on Friday night is something they'd surely like to put in the past.

The Comets went 4-of-23 from 3-point range in a 54-42 loss to Grants Pass in Southern Oregon Hybrid play.

"If we aren't hitting shots, it's gonna be hard for us to win and that was the case tonight," Crater head coach John Parent said.

Meanwhile, the Cavemen heated up at the just the right time, knocking down 13 of their 15 free-throw attempts in the fourth quarter.

Micah Johnson turned in 10 points and five rebounds and Tyler Bennett had 10 points and three assists for Grants Pass, which held Justin Martin — Crater's leading scorer — scoreless.

"We caught them on an off night," Grants Pass head coach Jeff Huston said. "They can usually shoot the ball well. Our length had something to do with it, getting a hand up on shooters. Our kids really worked hard defensively."

Tony Scriven recorded nine points, nine rebounds and three steals and Josh Emptage added eight points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals for the Cavemen, who jumped out to a 15-6 lead after the first quarter before being outscored 14-8 in the second period.

The Comets (6-9, 1-4 SOH) pulled to within four points with about 1:10 left in the game before Kolton Mahr knocked down a pair of free throws for Grants Pass (9-7, 2-3), which again pulled away from Crater.

Tanner Jaasko had nine points, Cody Dismukes eight points, 10 rebounds and four assists and RJ Morgan seven points, five rebounds and five assists for Crater, which has lost five of its last six.

"To be quite honest we have the talent to be better in the win-loss column, but the kids are learning how to play hard and trying to change the culture," Parent said. "It's a process that's been kind of a roller-coaster. The games we have won we've seen a lot of double-digit victories. ... We've got to figure out how to win the tough games and we haven't done that yet."

GRANTS PASS (54) — Johnson 10, Emptage 8, Strempel 2, Bennett 10, Randall 4, Scriven 9, Meadows 5, Rich 0, Mahr 6. Totals: 19 15-21 54.

CRATER (42) — Stewart 3, Erskine 0, Rodman 0, A. Martin 6, J. Martin 0, Bennett 2, Marineau 7, Dismukes 8, Jaasko 9, Morgan 7. Totals: 14 10-16 42.

Grants Pass 15 8 12 19 — 54

Crater 6 14 7 15 — 42

3-point goals — Grants Pass 1 (Bennett 1), Crater 4 (A. Martin 2, Marineau 1, Stewart 1). Fouled out — Bennett (GP).

JV result — Grants Pass won.

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