A challenging season for the Lebanon boys varsity program had a disappointing conclusion.
The Warriors entered their regular-season finale against North Salem on Friday night with a record of 3-18 and were winless in Mid-Willamette Conference play at 0-15.
The squad had a great opportunity to earn its first conference victory, but came up short in a 62-59 overtime loss which was marred by an ugly post-game incident.
The Vikings jumped out to a 30-23 halftime lead. Lebanon senior guard Daylon Shoyo kept the Warriors in the game with a great effort. He made three 3-pointers in the first half and tallied 11 points before the break on his way to a game-high 19.
After halftime, Shoyo hit a deep 3-pointer from the left wing which gave the Warriors a 31-30 lead. From this point on, the game remained tight with the squads trading the lead back and forth.
Junior post Kyle Haley became more aggressive offensively in the second half, scoring 10 of his 14 points after the break.
The Vikings left the door open for the Warriors by missing six consecutive free throws down the stretch, but Lebanon couldn't take advantage and the game went into overtime.
Sophomore Cole Weber chipped in with four points in the extra frame, but it wasn't enough as the Vikings came out on top.
The game had been chippy throughout and technical fouls had been assessed on one Lebanon player and on the North Salem bench.
During the postgame handshake line, a punch was thrown and North Salem's Braden Vasquez suffered a bloody nose. Coaches and administrators from Lebanon and North Salem worked together to quickly separate players and fans from both schools and keep the incident from getting further out of hand.
Lebanon coach Casey VandenBos said he couldn't comment on how the incident began or which members of his team were involved.
"It's under investigation by the school district," VandenBos said. "What happened is unfortunate and it's a learning experience for multiple people."
As for the game itself, VandenBos was pleased with the effort shown by his squad. He felt that over the course of the season, the team learned how to be more consistent in its focus and work ethic.
Looking forward to next year, VandenBos sees juniors Zach Birchem and Haley taking on the key leadership roles.
Sophomores Weber and Gideon Osborne took on major roles this season and will be able to apply that experience next year.
VandenBos said he was pleased with the strides junior Peyton Whitney made this year and he is looking for big things from freshman Henry Pointer.
VandenBos was made the head coach after the school year had begun and he is excited to have a full offseason to prepare.
"We'll have the summer to prepare and get guys ready," VandenBos said.