Salmon River’s Canyon Harper (23 points) and Randy McClure (14) led SRHS to a narrow win over Orofino Jan. 29, but Ethan Shepherd’s overtime three-pointer proved crucial as SRHS prevailed 54-52.

“We had several chances to put the game away but missed free throws and good offense by Orofino had us down three with 15 seconds left on the clock,” Savages head coach Levi Tucker told the Free Press. “We drew out a play in a time out. The boys executed well. Canyon hit a three to even the score. Orofino had time for one shot but came up short at the end of regulation. In overtime, Ethan hit a huge three. That gave us a lead that we held onto. Orofino had a chance to tie or take the lead, but we played good defense and got the stop we needed to hold on for the win.”

The Savages carried a 30-22 lead to halftime, but behind an eight-point outburst by Marc Taitano, Orofino surged into a 40-all tie starting the third quarter. The fourth saw Orofino score four at the foul line and saw Salmon River make one of six free throw attempts; the frame ended in deadlock, 46-46.

Overtime saw Taitano notch five points on the way to finishing with a team-high 18, but between Shepherd’s three, a two by McClure and two Harper free throws, Salmon River came out ahead.

“It was a fast first half,” Tucker said. “We struggled to make shots in the third. Orofino played well, made shots, got offensive rebounds and got most of the loose balls. We have some sick kids that played a lot of minutes. We had three starters with four fouls in the fourth quarter. We struggled from the foul line. In the fourth quarter and overtime we shot 4-for-16 from the line.”

The Salmon River boys have one game left on their schedule: a Feb. 6 senior night against Highland. The boys district tournament will run Feb. 12-21, with a possible play-in game Feb. 23 and the 1AD2 state tournament slated Feb. 28-March 2.

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