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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation December 10, 2018

12/4/2018 1:32:00 PM
Outlaws split pre-season basketball games
Zach Anderson goes up and scores vs Crook County. photo by Jerry Baldock
+ click to enlarge
Zach Anderson goes up and scores vs Crook County. photo by Jerry Baldock

By Rongi Yost

The Outlaws fell 43-46 to the Crook County (CC) Cowboys at home on Friday, November 30. Sisters trailed the entire way, but clawed their way back to make it a tight fourth quarter. A day later, the Outlaws bounced back with an impressive 64-46 win over Madras.

In Friday's action, Sisters played even with the Cowboys at the start of the contest, and at the close of the first period the game was deadlocked 7-7. Brogan Petterson did a nice job in his first varsity start, and sophomore Hudson Jones played with great energy when Ryan Waddell had to take the bench due to two early fouls.

"We had two players in the first quarter that had no varsity experience, and we wanted to get through the quarter," said Coach Rand Runco. "They did a great job, and kept us in the game."

At the half, the Outlaws trailed by one, 22-23.

In the third period, Sisters fell further behind, and at the end of the quarter trailed by seven with the score 30-37.

In the final quarter the Outlaws made a strong comeback. Brad Eagen and Jude Carhart had excellent drives to the basket, and found Waddell and Zach Anderson for good finishes. Sisters roared back and took the lead in the final minutes, but just couldn't maintain their composure. They had several uncharacteristic turnovers down the stretch and gave up an open three.

The Cowboys tried to hold the ball with a slim one- to three-point lead, but the Outlaws continued to force turnovers to give themselves a chance. Sisters missed a critical lay-in and three shots while trailing by one, and turned the ball over twice, but they kept battling.

With 17 seconds left on the clock, the Outlaws were forced to foul. They only had four fouls in the second half, so they would attempt to steal and then quickly foul. Sisters put CC on the line with 15 second left and the Cowboys hit both their shots.

Sisters called for their final timeout, and ran a play for Jack Berg off a triple screen. The Cowboys defended it well, and Berg hit Anderson for a good-luck shot at the buzzer that failed to go in.

The Outlaws played a pretty good defensive game, but did have trouble defending shots from behind the arc. CC hit 10 three-pointers that were all shot extremely well. Sisters did a good job defensively in the paint, and Runco stated that the team made some good adjustments in the fourth quarter when they made their run to go up by one after trailing by 10.

Despite the loss, Runco told The Nugget there were a few highlights. Jude Carhart added intensity and effort when he entered the game in the second quarter. Eagan, at point, handled the Cowboys' pressure the entire game, and Waddell and Anderson were a force on the boards.

Anderson finished with 16 points, Jack Berg had nine, Waddell put up seven, Carhart scored six, and Eagan added four.

The Outlaws did an outstanding job from the free-throw line, and were 15-19, shooting 78 percent, in contrast to the Cowboys, who only made four of their 10 attempts.

"It was a difficult loss, but a great chance to learn in several areas," said Runco. "We struggled to finish offensively. We repeatedly got to the rim, but missed 10 lay-ins that really were the difference in the game. We also let too many loose balls get away. We played hard, did some things really well, but made too many mistakes. I do expect us to rally quickly. We are figuring our new roles and how to play, while slowly building our depth. This is a great group of guys that really like each other, and they are working extremely hard."

On Saturday, Sisters expected the contest against the White Buffs to be tough, especially after coming off the hard emotional loss to Crook County the night before.

The game was tight the first two quarters; at the half the Outlaws held a 26-22 advantage. Sisters broke the game open in the second half and out-scored the White Buffs 36-18. The Outlaws played a relentless and unselfish game and the entire squad made contributions in the win.

Runco described the White Buffs' style of play.

"Madras plays the Grinnell style, which is its very own system. They press and trap the entire game, and try to wear you down with their depth. They play 10 players, and sub every minute for the entire game. They penetrate and shoot threes and try to create an absolute rat-ball game," said Runco.

The Outlaws didn't have the depth that Madras had, and subbed in players in short bursts. Joe Scholl, Brogan Peterson, and Nate Weber did a nice job coming off the bench to give the starters a break, and all played great defense.

Runco told The Nugget that he emphasized to the team the need to slow down and make their lay-ins count. The Outlaws goal was to make Madras burn energy, and specific players worked to break their press and spread the court.

"We spread them out and then had our designated players slash to the rim and finish lay-ins and free -throws," said Runco. "Brad Eagan, Jack Berg, and Jude Carhart spread them out and fed our finishers time after time. We were pretty disciplined and fought the chaos that they were trying to create."

Anderson and Waddell received pass after pass and combined for 53 points. Anderson, Waddell, and Berg pounded the glass and forced Madras into one contested shot, and often gave the Outlaws two attempts.

"I can't think of a harder style for us to play against this time of season and after back-to-back games," said Runco. "It was really a great effort."

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