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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation October 21, 2018

1/16/2018 1:26:00 PM
Boys basketball squeaks by Cottage Grove to win league opener
Noah Richards had a strong week on the hardwood for the Outlaws. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Noah Richards had a strong week on the hardwood for the Outlaws. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Rongi Yost

The boys basketball squad lost 67-64 to Madras in their last pre-season game on Tuesday, January 9. They staved off the Lions at Cottage Grove in the league opener on Friday, three days later, with a 50-48 win.

Friday's win against the Lions was an intense contest, with lead changes throughout.

The Outlaws got an early lead in the first, but at the close of the period the Lions had tied it up at 13-13. CG outscored Sisters in the second, and at the break the Outlaws trailed by four, 26-22.

In the third, the Outlaws fell behind by nine, but kept battling hard, and at the close of the period closed the gap to three.

Sisters tied it up late in the fourth, and had possession of the ball with about 30 seconds left in the game. They ran down the clock to 10 seconds, and then Noah Richards scored on a drive to put the Outlaws up by two with five seconds left on the clock. CG missed a shot at the buzzer and the Outlaws recorded the win.

The entire team contributed to the win. Jack Berg played a solid game and led all payers with 17 points. Zach Anderson scored 10 points, and did a great job on the boards. Richards not only scored the winning basket, but handled the ball well, and also grabbed big boards. Isaiah Rush played solid at the guard position and scored seven points, even though he was dealing was a sore knee. Austin Lake played a good offensive game, rebounded well, and finished with seven points.

James Ceciliani sparked the Outlaws off the bench, as did Taylor Scholl and Ryan Waddell. Scholl played solid defense and Waddell contributed on defense and on the boards.

"All in all, the players did a really good job of staying focused, getting stops, scores, and then more stops," said Coach David Godfrey. "We played with grit and poise, and the win on the road was a good start for us. It was great to see, since our league has a lot of good teams in it. We need to be prepared for more games like this."

Sisters' game against Madras earlier in the week was a hard-fought contest, with numerous lead changes. Sisters got down early, but then battled back to go up 30-22. Madras had a 10-1 run at the close of the first half, and the White Buffs regained the lead 32-31.

Sisters had 19 turnovers in the first half, but hung in there to only trail by one at the half.

In the second half, the Outlaws controlled the tempo and handled the ball better. They cut down on their turnovers, and kept the game close.

Berg hit a big three to put the Outlaws on top 64-63 with about one minute left in the game. Sisters fouled a Madras player with 20 seconds left on the clock. The White Buff made both his shots, which gave them back the lead at 65-64.

The Outlaws were working hard for a final shot when Madras stole the ball and hit a lay-in with five seconds left to go. Sisters missed a three, and Madras tallied the win.

Berg had 20 points for the Outlaws, Richards scored 15, and Anderson scored 10. Scholl contributed six, and Brad Eagan and Waddell added four points each.

Richards was back for the first time since missing six games. Noah had a good performance, and shot and passed the ball well. Anderson also had a good game; he attacked the basket, and was big on the boards.

Noah said, "I was a little rusty in the first half, and actually had to sit the second quarter because of fouls. In the second half, my team really encouraged me. I got in the groove and started to play my game."

Noah scored only two points in the first half, but rallied and came back with 13 points in the second half of the contest.

James Ceciliani came off the bench and gave the Outlaws some good minutes. James played well on defense, took two charges, and hit three of four free throws.

"All-in-all, we battled and had a chance to win at the end," said Coach David Godfrey. "It was a good test for us, and we did a lot of good things. We hung in there when we were behind, took better care of the ball as the game went on, and had a chance to win at the end. It just didn't happen this time."

Richards said, "We're a tight group. We stick together and always play hard. Considering all the injuries we've had, we've done well. We get a fresh start as we start league play, and we're hoping to really play as a team and do our very best. As long as we keep working hard, and improve every day, I think we'll have a great chance at taking the league title."

The Outlaws were to play at home against Sweet Home on Tuesday, January 16. They will play at home against Junction City on Friday. Sisters' overall record

is 8-7.

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