Nate Weber grabs the rebound against Junction City. photo by Jerry Baldock
Nate Weber grabs the rebound against Junction City. photo by Jerry Baldock
The Outlaws had a hard time on the hardwood at their annual Sisters Holiday Tournament held Friday through Sunday, December 27-29. Sisters lost 54-63 to Junction City, suffered a 26-38 loss against Cottage Grove and finished with a 47-51 loss in a close battle against Mazama.

In their first game against the Junction City Tigers, the Outlaws were able to create offensive opportunities in their half-court sets, but the defense struggled to contain the Tigers’ strong shooting. In the fourth quarter, the Outlaws cut the Tigers’ lead to four, but then they made some costly mistakes. Junction City was able to pull away and record the win.

Nate Weber led the team with 14 points, Sam Nicklous recorded 13, and Connor Linn added eight.

Coach Rob Jensen said, “We did a much better job being aggressive on the offensive end and showed some big improvements. The boys attacked the rim and kept the game close.”

In their match-up against Cottage Grove, the Outlaws were able to disrupt the Lions on defense, but struggled to convert on the offensive end. The Lions maintained a strong defensive backcourt early in the game, but the Outlaws responded and found opportunities later in the game. Max Palanuk and Joe Scholl performed well and gave the Outlaws a boost offensively. Max led the team with 10 points, and Joe scored eight.

“Cottage Grove aggressively defended our guards and really made it tough on our top scorers (Weber and Nicklous), and we had a lot of trouble running our sets,” said Jensen. “We just gave away too many opportunities and didn’t score well enough.”

The Outlaws were tenacious and hustled throughout the entire contest in their final game against Mazama. It was a great game that was held to a single-digit advantage the entire way.

Sisters trailed by nine with less than two minutes left on the clock, and then the Outlaws made some big plays on defense. Ricky Huffman and Hayden Sharp provided a huge boost by getting big rebounds and creating turnovers, and the Outlaws cut the lead to two. Unfortunately, Mazama hit some free throws and put the game out of reach.

Nicklous and Weber scored 14 points each, and Scholl added 10.