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home : sports & recreation : sports & recreation March 18, 2018

3/6/2018 1:51:00 PM
Outlaws punch ticket to big dance
Ty Horner scores for the Outlaws vs. the Henley Hornets.
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Ty Horner scores for the Outlaws vs. the Henley Hornets.
By Rongi Yost

The Sisters Outlaws delivered for an enthusiastic hometown crowd on Saturday, March 3, stinging the Henley Hornets in a 72-60 victory, which earned them a berth to the Elite Eight in statewide competition.

The Outlaws will face Banks, the No. 1-seed, at 1:30 p.m. on Thursday, March 8, in the 4A State Tournament which will be held at Forest Grove High School.

Sisters had the gym full on Saturday night, and the Outlaws fans were loud and enthusiastic, cheering their team on the entire way. Noah Richards was in his groove from the start of the contest. He scored Sisters' first bucket, and scored six of the Outlaws' 10 first-quarter points. At the end of the period the Outlaws were up by two.

Ty Horner, the Outlaws' big 6-foot-9-inch post, was dished the ball and scored an easy deuce to start the second quarter. With 35 seconds left on the clock, Richards made a move and scored on a reverse lay-up, and was fouled. He made the extra point from the stripe, and then Jack Berg followed with a 15-foot jumper at the buzzer to close out the first half with a 27-16 lead.

The Outlaws exploded in the third quarter, and twice in the period held an 18-point advantage. They played exceptional defense, which caused a slowdown in scoring for the Hornets, and grabbed numerous offensive boards. Richards scored 14 points, and at the close of the third the Outlaws were on top 53-35.

Henley was tenacious and wouldn't give up. The Outlaws had stirred up the Hornets nest and Henley came out buzzing and battling hard in the very physical final period. They out-hustled the Outlaws, attacked the basket, scored numerous shots inside, hit big shots from behind the arc, and closed the gap to six.

Sisters held onto their lead and were poised and solid at the free-throw line down the stretch. With just under one-and-a-half minutes left in the game, Berg went five for six from the stripe, and Horner added another one from the free-throw line. Time ran out on the clock and the Outlaws beat the Hornets by 12.

Free throws proved to be a key to the Outlaws victory. Sisters went 10-13 from the stripe in the fourth quarter and were 21-27 for the game.

Richards led the scoring effort with 27 points, and was 9-12 from the free-throw line. Noah played a great offensive game and his 14 points in the third helped build the Outlaws' lead. He also played well on defense.

Horner overcame early foul trouble and also had a big game for Sisters. He scored consistently in the last three quarters and finished the game with 21 points, and stole the show with a couple of exceptional blocked shots.

Berg played solid and put up 14 points. Jack grabbed some big boards, and hit a great three-pointer late in the game to extend the Outlaws' lead.

Zach Anderson scored four points, did a nice job guarding Henley's best player, rebounded well, and came up with a very nice blocked shot. Austin Lake, Ryan Waddell, and Brad Eagan pitched in two points each. Eagan and Isaiah Rush did a nice job at the point guard position, and ran the team on offense and defense.

Junior Zach Anderson said, "It was a really good win for us. We played as a team, were level-headed, and closed the game well. We made some really good plays when we needed to. They made a mean come-back, but we were able to stop them. I really think we can win the state championship, because we're a good team. This was probably the most exciting and intense night of my life so far. I'm hoping we make it all the way."

Coach David Godfrey summed up the game.

"All in all, it was a great game for us. We beat a good team, who we lost to in December. So, it was good to see us come back and do that, especially in this situation with a trip to the Final Eight at the State Tournament on the line. I am really happy for the players. They have had to deal with many potential stumbling blocks this season; mainly injuries, and illnesses, but they have kept working hard and working together to overcome these obstacles. So, they certainly deserve what they got. They have truly earned this trip to the Elite Eight, with a chance to win a state title. It's just really neat to see.

"This is really exciting for our players and for our school. We will have our hands full against Banks, but if we keep building and improving we feel that we can compete well next week, whoever we play. This is just our sixth game with all of our players healthy and playing together. We like to think we are just hitting our stride, and that some of our best ball is ahead of us. We'll certainly give it our best shot."

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