News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Outlaws hound the Huskies

The Outlaws dominated play in their 69-36 win at home against the Sweet Home Huskies on Friday, January 14. Three days earlier they kicked off league play with a 49-59 loss at home to the Stayton Eagles.

The game against the Huskies stayed close; the teams were knotted up three times in the first three and a half minutes of play. The Outlaws started to pull ahead with just over two minutes left in the period when Ricky Huffman stole the ball, galloped the length of the court, and made a nice layup to put the Outlaws on top 12-9. In the last minute, Jesse Murillo pulled down an offensive rebound and put it back up for the two, and Noah Pittman made a great pass to Max Palanuk for a three-pointer. At the close of the first quarter the Outlaws held a 17-9 lead.

The second quarter proved to be the Outlaws’ best defensive effort of the season. Sisters held the Huskies scoreless until the last four seconds when the Huskies finally got a layup. The Outlaws 1-3-1 defense gave the Huskies lots of trouble and forced several turnovers and quick shots, which allowed the Outlaws to get out in transition. Palanuk and Pittman both scored seven points in the quarter, including two three-pointers by Palanuk and one from Pittman. At the half the Outlaws were on top 33-11.

Sweet Home knew they needed to try to force turnovers, and they came out in the third quarter in a full court press and really gave the Outlaws troubles in the beginning. The full-court press and numerous turnovers from the Outlaws gave the Huskies 18 points, their best scoring quarter of the game. Sisters still won the quarter as they put up 22 points of their own. In the last two minutes Mehkye Froehlich hit two back-to-back long balls, which fired up the Outlaws, and at the end of the third Sisters held a commanding 55-29


With a 26-point lead, the Outlaws needed to stay focused and keep up their defensive intensity, and they did just that. The Huskies only scored seven points in the quarter. Palanuk’s two three-pointers highlighted the period for the Outlaws.

Sisters finished the contest with nine three-pointers, their best so far this season. They were also 12-for-17 from the free-throw line (70 percent), their highest team percentage for the season.

Palanuk led the scoring spree with 23 points, which included six three-pointers. Pittman and Murillo scored 10 points each, and Froehlich tallied nine. Adam Maddox-Castle scored seven points, and Jamen Schwartz added six.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was a complete 32-minute performance from the Outlaws on both ends of the floor. I was very excited to see the team put a full game together tonight. They executed our game plan and were rewarded with a convincing win.”

Three days earlier the Outlaws hosted Stayton in the first league game of the season. The Eagles entered the game ranked as the No. 2 team in the OSAA 4A Classification with a record of 7-1 on the season. The Eagles averaged 65 points per game and won by an average of 24 points in the preseason, and the Outlaws knew they had their work cut out for them.

Sisters started off strong and made the high-scoring Eagles work for every point. The Outlaws had a few turnovers in the quarter, which led to some fast break points for the Eagles. Toward the end of the quarter, Stayton worked the clock down to ensure they would get the last shot, but Palanuk hit a three-point buzzer-beater off a perfect assist from Pittman. At the close of the quarter the Outlaws only trailed by four, 12-16.

The Outlaws once again played tough in the second quarter, and held the Eagles to just 11 points. Great team defense held Stayton’s leading scorer to only three points. Sisters worked the clock at the end to get the last shot, and this time Pittman hit the long ball at the buzzer to give the Outlaws some momentum as teams headed into the half.

Sisters used that momentum to go on a 6-4 run and cut the lead to 27-31 to start the third quarter. The Eagles took a timeout, regrouped, and put together a 15-1 run to close out the quarter and push to a 46-28 advantage over the Outlaws. Stayton forced Sisters to play outside the tempo they wanted to play and as a result caused numerous turnovers that led to many fast break opportunities for the Eagles.

Despite the fact the Outlaws entered the final period down by almost 20, they didn’t fold. The team attacked on offense and kept pressure on the Eagles. The Outlaws outscored the Eagles by eight points (21-13) to cut the lead to the final 10 points. James Schwartz hit a shot in the key at the buzzer to bring the final score to 49-59.

Palanuk led the Outlaws with 25 points. Pittman and Schwartz scored seven points each, and Huffman and Murillo added four points each.

Rush said, “We knew this would be a tough game to open league with. Although the game ended with a loss, I am very encouraged by the effort and execution of the team on the defensive end of the floor. They held the Eagles to six points under their average scoring.”

The Outlaws were scheduled to host Newport on Tuesday, January 18. They will host Philomath on Friday three days later.


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