By Rongi Yost

Outlaws split first games of season


Last updated 12/8/2021 at Noon

Jerry Baldock

Richard Huffman drives for two against Redmond.

The Outlaws kicked off their basketball season with two non-league games this past week. They started with a 71-35 loss to the Panthers at Redmond on Wednesday, December 1. A day later they bounced back with a 44-43 win at Estacada.

Sisters took on an athletic and experienced Panther squad on Tuesday. Max Palanuk hit a three-point shot in the first minute of the contest to get the Outlaws on the scoreboard. Sisters played aggressive defense and was only down 10-16 at the close of the first quarter.

The Outlaws were able to keep it close for the first half of the second quarter, but the Panthers’ half-court trap caused some costly turnovers at the end. Redmond capitalized on the opportunities and pushed to a 32-15 lead to close out the half.

The second half was more of the same. The Panthers had their highest scoring quarter in the third period with 23 points and went on to win by 36.

Max Palanuk and Mehkye Froelich led the team with eight points each. Ricky Huffman, Jessie Murillo, and AJ Scholl all had four points in the contest.

Scholl and Murillo did a good job of guarding the Panthers’ 6-foot-8-inch center. They both gave up several inches in height, but battled the entire game to keep him off the boards.

Coach Chad Rush said, “For the first game of the season, I thought we competed well and played with intensity. As we move forward we will need to work on consistency in our intensity and our offensive execution.”

A day later, the Outlaws endured the three-hour bus ride to face the Estacada Rangers, who had also played the previous night.

Palanuk came out hot, and scored eight of his 21 points in the first quarter, which helped the Outlaws wrap up the first quarter with a 14-7 lead.

In the second period Palanuk again hit his shots, and put up seven of the team’s 11 points. Thanks to Palanuk’s scoring, the Outlaws held a 10-point lead midway through the second period. Estacada battled hard and made a big 10-2 run to close out the half. The Rangers outscored the Outlaws 17-11, with Estacada’s two post players scoring 15 of the Rangers’ 17 points. The quarter ended with the Outlaws holding on to a slim one point lead, 25-24.

Estacada took a brief lead at the start of the third period, but the Outlaws dug in, battled back, and got some timely defensive stops to close out the quarter with an 8-0 run, which put them on top by five, 36-31.

The Outlaws continued their defensive pressure in the final period, and held the Rangers scoreless for the first four minutes. The tide turned, Estacada got hot, and they made a run that narrowed the Outlaws’ lead. But Sisters got some steals, got out in transition, and took a six-point lead with under a minute left on the clock

In the final minute of the game, the Rangers hit a shot from behind the arc and closed the gap to three points. Full-court pressure by the Rangers caused a jump ball, which went in Estacada’s favor. The ensuing out-of-bounds play saw the Rangers score a layup that cut the Outlaws’ lead to one point.

After a costly turnover by the Outlaws with just seconds to go, the Rangers took the ball the length of the floor. They got a good look at a game-winning basket that rimmed out as time expired on the clock, and Sisters tallied the win.

Palanuk led the Outlaws with 21 points. Froelich and Huffman scored six points each, Murillo tallied four points, and Pittman added three points in the scoring effort.

Rush said, “This was a great win for the Outlaws, especially coming off a big defeat the night before and traveling three hours for the game. And, to hold on to win a game in this fashion shows a lot of resolve for these players. I am very proud of the effort and energy the team displayed. The bench was an integral part of the win with their encouragement and energy.”

Sisters was to play at home against Elmira on Tuesday, December 7. They will travel to LaPine on Friday.


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