The Outlaws posted a huge 51-50 road win in their league opener against the Newport Bulldogs on Friday, January 4. Due to the holiday school break, the team was able to head to the coast early, stretched their legs on the beach - and anticipated a very tough game.

Coach Rand Runco shared his thoughts on the Newport squad and what the Outlaws would be up against.

"Newport is an explosive team that shoots the three at a high level," said Runco. "They have an explosive point guard that penetrates and creates shots all over the court, and then a team that shoots the ball incredibly deep. They also have a talented 6'5" post that makes you play honest."

Sisters had to change up their defense, and Runco told The Nugget that the Outlaws did an amazing job against a really well-coached and talented team.

The first half of the contest was an offensive battle. Both teams shot the ball well and play was pretty even. Newport opened the scoring with a deep three-pointer, but Jack Berg quickly answered back with a three for the Outlaws. Sisters went down by five, but kept battling and fought back to take the lead.

The Outlaws hit a shot at the buzzer just before the half to go up by one, 33-32.

Runco said, "We'd shot the ball well, but most were perimeter shots, and we were not getting to the line."

In the third, the Outlaws cranked up their defense, created multiple turnovers and stretched the lead to nine. The Bulldogs cut the lead to seven with approximately three minutes left in the game and changed their defense back to zone, which the Outlaws had riddled in the first half.

The Outlaws turned the ball over several times and allowed the Bulldogs to make a run, but Sisters played hard and made enough stops to maintain the lead. Noah Richards hit a huge shot from behind the arc, but then the Bulldogs tied it up 50-50.

Ryan Waddell was fouled, and he hit the front end of his free throw to give the Outlaws a one-point lead. The Bulldogs came at the Outlaws with about 15 seconds left on the clock, but Jude Carhart stole the ball and went the length of the court under pressure. Carhart missed a tough lay-in and Newport took possession and gave the ball to their best shooter. The Outlaws challenged his deep three-point shot and the ball went in and out again, and Sisters held on for the win.

Waddell led the Outlaws with 16 points, Berg had 14, Richards had eight, and Zach Anderson added seven.

Runco noted that point guard Brad Eagan had one of his best games on both ends of the court. He directed the offense and tormented their very good guard on defense.

"It was a great effort, and other than our unforced turnovers we played well," said Runco. "We did an incredible job defensively on their shooters and won most of the 50/50 balls in the game. We played with great energy and hung in there. I am impressed that our toughness is improving and we are starting to find a way to get it done. It looks like this conference is going to be a fierce battle. We had a tough pre-season, and league is going to be about our resilience."

The Outlaws were to play at home on January 8 against Cascade. Friday,

January 11 they will play at Woodburn.