Sisters played two good games on the road this past week, but not good enough to get wins. The Outlaws lost 48-44 at Junction City (JC) on Wednesday, January 29, and two days later lost 52-46 in overtime at Cottage Grove.
Due to icy weather conditions and school cancellation, Tuesday's game against Junction City was moved to Wednesday. Sisters and JC both played great defensive games and both struggled to get the ball through the hoop.
The Tigers jumped out front and the Outlaws had trouble closing the gap. Sisters was down 24-19 at the half.
The Outlaws made a great run in the final minute of play. With 20 seconds left on the clock the Outlaws stole the ball. Justin Harrer drove the ball up the court and drew defenders to him. Harrer hit Hayes Moore for an open three on the right wing. It was a great look that would have sent the game into overtime, but the ball went in and out.
"It was the right play to the right guys and a super look," said Coach Rand Runco. "It was a tough loss."
Sisters had a difficult time getting the ball in to their posts, and had trouble at the free-throw line. They were also plagued by turnovers, which proved to be the difference in the game. Sisters out-played the Tigers on the glass and execution, but committed 18 turnovers compared to Junction City's nine.
Hayden Martinez finished the game with 17 points and Connor Schaab tallied 15.
On Friday, the Outlaws suffered a rough overtime loss at Cottage Grove.
The Lions pounded the glass in the first half and got off to a quick start. At the half the Outlaws were down 19-13.
Sisters made a great run in the second half. The Outlaws tied the game for the first time with less than two minutes left in the contest thanks to a bucket at the rim by Harrer. With approximately one minutes left, sophomore Hayes Moore stole the ball and went the length of the court. Moore missed a tough lay-in under pressure which was followed by sophomore Hayden Martinez who tried to tip it in for the lead. The Outlaws missed the second shot and the Lions got the board.
CG held the ball for a last shot, which the Outlaws defended and the game went into overtime. Sisters was forced to foul in the final minute of overtime and the Lions were able to convert on their shots and earn the win.
"It was a crazy game," said Runco. "The University of Oregon brought their marching band to the game and had over a 50-member band playing for a service to Cottage Grove High School. I have never been in a louder gym. It was a great game experience and our kids played really well."
Runco added, "A few missed shots at crunch time was the difference in the game. I am really proud of our guys and we need to keep improving. We are in every game and just make a few mistakes at key times. With 10 extra points we would be in first place in league. The teams we're playing have a little more experience on the court but we have closed the game and know we can beat anyone. We cut our turnovers to eight against pressure and made much better decisions with the basketball tonight."
Harrer tallied 14 points and eight rebounds on the night. Justin also played excellent defense on Garrett King, the Lions' 6' 3" first-team point guard. Martinez contributed 12 points and Schaab and Moore added eight points each.
Kaping, Adams and Gill played tough defense on the Lions' post, Mike Mueler, who is currently the best scoring post in the league.
Runco noted several players for their contributions.
"Justin (Harrer), Nate (Kaping), Lane (Adams) and Tysen (Gill) all did a nice job on the boards," stated Runco. "Ben (Larson) played great defense and put the ball into position on offense while handling tough pressure."
Sisters is currently 1-3 in league play. The Outlaws will play at home against Elmira on Friday, February 7 with tip-off at 5:45 p.m. The following Tuesday, the Outlaws will play at La Pine.