By Rongi Yost
Correspondent 

Outlaws split preseason games

 

Last updated 12/15/2021 at Noon

Jerry Baldock

Richard Huffman scores two for the Outlaws.

The Outlaws basketball squad kicked off their week with a 41-29 victory over the Elmira Falcons at home on Tuesday, December 7. Four days later at La Pine, they suffered a heartbreaking 55-53 loss to the Hawks.

In Tuesday’s action against the Falcons, Max Palanuk hit a bucket, followed by a long ball, that gave the Outlaws a great start. At the close of the opening quarter, Sisters was on top 11-8.

Coach Chad Rush told The Nugget that the second quarter was the most complete quarter the Outlaws have played so far this season. They outscored the Falcons 22-3 in the period and at the half held a commanding 22-point lead. Palanuk had 16 points and was a perfect three-for-three from behind the arc.

The Falcons came out in a diamond-and-one defense in the third, and guarded Palanuk man to man, with their other players in a zone. Sisters struggled against that defense and was only able to score four points in the quarter, while the Falcons scored 10.

Sisters didn’t do much better in the final period and once again was held to four points. The Falcons caused several turnovers with their full-court pressure and were able to cut the Outlaws’ lead to 10 points. A positive was that the Outlaws figured out how to take care of the ball and got some timely stops on defense to secure the win.

“I was very proud of the defensive effort our team put together tonight,” said Rush. “For only being the third game of the season, we did some very good things that helped lead to the victory tonight. For the second game in a row we were able to hold off a team that was trying to make a comeback and secure the victory.”

Palanuk led the Outlaws’ scoring effort with 23 points, including four three-pointers in the first half of the contest. Ricky Huffman recorded six points, and Noah Pittman added four.

The loss against La Pine on Saturday was tough, as the Outlaws led the contest for over 31 minutes.

Sisters started off hot and scored 20 points in the first quarter. Adam Maddox-Castle attacked the rim, got some easy layups, and scored six of his eight points in the period.

In the second quarter, Jesse Murillo provided the scoring punch for the Outlaws and scored seven of his 10 points in the period, including a jumper from the free-throw line as the buzzer sounded to end the half. Sisters held a 33-28 advantage at halftime.

Sisters was held scoreless for five minutes in the third, but was still able to maintain the lead due to their tough defense. Murillo once again hit a buzzer-beater at the end of the quarter, but this time it was a long ball from behind the arc.

The Outlaws maintained their lead in the final quarter as the Hawks had several runs and inched closer. Sisters extended their lead to five on a Palanuk three-pointer on a sideline out-of-bounds play. Following the basket, the Hawks were determined to pound the ball inside to Colton Campbell, their 6-foot-3-inch post. Campbell scored 15 of his 29 points in the period.

With 30 seconds left on the clock, the Outlaws were on top 53-51. The Hawks came down and ran a play to get the ball to Campbell at the high post. Campbell took the ball to the rim and scored the basket while being fouled. Campbell hit the shot from the charity stripe, which gave the Hawks their first lead of the game and put the Outlaws down by one, 53-54.

The Outlaws inbounded the ball and Maddox-Castle drove the length of the floor and got a good look at a go-ahead layup, but sadly the ball rolled off the rim. Murillo got the offensive rebound and passed it to Palanuk in the corner for an open three-pointer that just rimmed in and out. The Hawks got the rebound and the Outlaws were forced to foul. The Hawks made one of the two free-throw attempts and the Outlaws had a chance with two seconds left. Unfortunately, the inbound pass got batted away and the Outlaws found themselves on the wrong side of the scoreboard.

Rush said, “This was a difficult game to lose because of the way we controlled the game for almost the entire 32 minutes. I was proud of the team on another great effort on the defensive end. In the end, we weren’t able to make enough plays to hang on to the lead.”

Palanuk led the Outlaws with 19 points, Murillo followed with 10, and Maddox-Castle and Jamen Schwartz scored eight points each. Mehkye Froehlich added four points in the scoring effort.

Sisters was to play at Cottage Grove on Tuesday, December 14. They will travel to Burns on Monday, December 20, and then take some time off. They resume play as hosts of the annual Sisters Holiday Shoot-Out which will be held Tuesday through Thursday, December 28-30.

 

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