By Rongi Yost

Boys basketball team returns two veteran starters


Last updated 12/15/2021 at Noon

The boys basketball squad returns just two varsity starters — seniors Max Palanuk and Ricky Huffman. Both come with years of experience and a lot of talent. Both played in all 17 games last season and will be leaders on the team this year.

Palanuk is a 6-foot-4-inch wing who will bring versatility to the squad. He was the third leading scorer on last year’s team, averaged 10.2 points per game, and led the team in minutes played. Over the final seven games of the season, Palanuk averaged 14.5 points, including a 21-point performance in the season finale against La Pine.

Coaches will look for Palanuk to continue to be a scoring threat for the Outlaws, and as a leader he will be asked to do a lot of little things in practice and in the games.

Huffman is known for his continual hustle on both ends of the floor. Statistically, he did a little bit of everything last year. He finished fifth in scoring, fifth in rebounding, third in deflections, and first in charges taken. Coaches expect him to continue to be the team energizer as well as improve his statistics from last season.

Several other players saw significant varsity time from off the bench. Senior Jamen Schwartz came off the bench the majority of last season, and provided valuable energy on the offensive and defensive ends of the floor. Coaches hope for him to increase his role from last year in all facets of the game.

Junior Adam Maddox-Castle was a defensive stalwart for the team last year and excelled at providing energy and grit on the defensive side of the game. This season coaches want him to continue his defensive intensity, and also step up offensively and provide a spark for the Outlaws.

A number of players saw limited minutes at the varsity level last season, as they were primarily JV players who joined the varsity team during their games. Senior AJ Scholl, and juniors Jesse Murillo, Mehkye Froehlich, and Taine Martin will fill larger roles on the team this year and will help provide depth to a team that looks to improve on its record from last season.

Scholl provided a great defensive presence at the JV level last season, and his rebounding and shot-blocking ability will definitely be needed this year. Froehlich had a great season last year, and this year coaches will look for him to bring his athleticism and energy to the varsity squad. Murillo saw great improvement in his game, and coaches will look to him to bring his energy and rebounding to the varsity team. Martin is expected to help the Outlaws bring defensive intensity to each and every game.

After a year away from basketball, seniors Noah Pittman and Josh Buettner, and junior Patrick Silva, will rejoin the squad. Pittman will provide an outside threat and bring hustle and grit to the game. Buettner will also bring hustle along with intensity on both sides of the floor. Silva is a strong defender and brings unlimited energy.

Coach Chad Rush said, “Our coaches expect to continue to improve on last season’s win total, while establishing the standards and expectations of the new Outlaws program.”


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