PERRYDALE — Kyler Thorson’s dream of making it to the basketball state championships at Baker High School this year was cut short by four points.
The senior from Perrydale High School recalls how upsetting losing the second playoff game was against Ione/Arlington.
“It was heartbreaking,” Thorson said. “I was upset — this was the closest I’ve ever been to making it to state, and that’s been my dream my whole life.”
He said the team went down fighting.
“We came out somewhat slow, but we were all working hard, it was just shots weren’t falling, so they took the lead at halftime,” he said. “We came out in the fourth, and we were up by four or five, and then stuff just started to not go our way. Shots started to fall and we took a tough loss at the end, but were all going 110 percent, we gave it all we had.”
Thorson stepped up to fill in the leadership gaps left by the seniors who graduated last year, said head coach Brian Domes.
It’s why he was selected as the I-O’s Boys Basketball Player of the Year.
“He was our most productive player throughout this season,” Domes said. “He was also a team captain, and led the team in all pregame chants and broke most of our time-out huddles. As a player, he wants to win and tries to be a team player, encouraging his teammates in most situations.”
Thorson also led the team in points and assists, scoring 11.8 points on average per game, while also grabbing 5.4 rebounds, tallying up 3.9 assists, and contributing 2.4 steals.
Thorson walks away from this season knowing that he and his team did its best.
“Overall I thought we did good this year,” he said. “I thought we merged together as a team really well, and built relationships with one another. Toward the end of the season, we were playing some of the best basketball we’ve ever played as a team, so we definitely improved over the season.”
Basketball has been a part of Thorson’s life since he can remember.
“I’ve played basketball my whole life,” he said. “I don’t really know how to describe it — I just love playing basketball.
“My favorite memories from playing were from summer league,” he said. “We went to this basketball league in Sherman, and there’s this ‘S’ up on a hill, and we would walk up there with our teammates and we’d just talk and hang out and play music, and it was a really good bonding experience with the team. And that was some of the first games I ever played when I transfered to Perrydale — one of my first tournaments was in that Sherman tournament, and that’s where I met a lot of these people, and became close friends with them.”
After he graduates from Perrydale, Thorson hopes to get onto a tournament team at Chemeketa — but he’s going to miss being a Pirate.
“I’ll miss being part of a high school team, having league games and having big crowds wanting to see us succeed,” he said.