By Rongi Yost

Outlaws lose two on the hardwood


Last updated 1/25/2022 at Noon

Jerry Baldock

Max Palanuk drives for the basket in Outlaws action.

The Outlaws boys basketball squad fell 55-47 to Newport at home on Tuesday, January 18, and lost at home three days later against top-ranked Philomath in a final score of 52-24.

Sisters knew their match-up against Newport on Tuesday would be a defensive game, and they knew they’d have to defend the three-point line, as the Cubs like to shoot from behind the arc. The game played out just as expected and was a low scoring affair for the majority of the game.

The Outlaws executed most of their game plan, took away the three-point line, and limited the Cubs to just two scores from behind the arc. However, the Cubs made their lay-ups and hit their shots from the charity stripe down the stretch, which secured their eight-point victory.

In the first quarter, the Outlaws and Cubs traded baskets and the score went back and forth. Sisters took the two-point lead, 15-13, at the close of the quarter behind 10 points from Max Palanuk.

The second quarter was an offensive struggle for the Outlaws. Mehkye Froehlich hit a three-pointer early in the period, and then the Outlaws went scoreless for the remainder of the quarter.

Sisters came out strong in the third quarter and cut the lead to two points before the Cubs called a timeout. Palanuk hit two three-pointers and Jamen Schwartz hit one long ball during the Outlaws’ run. Adam Maddox-Castle contributed six points in the quarter to help the Outlaws win the quarter 15-9 and give themselves a chance in the fourth.

The final period was very competitive. Noah Pittman hit consecutive baskets, knocking down a corner three-pointer and then a free-throw jumper, which forced the Cubs to call a timeout. With just over a minute left on the clock, the Cubs were up by seven when Palanuk hit a high, arching three-pointer to bring the Outlaws’ deficit to four points.

Ponderosa Properties - Sisters, Oregon Realtor

After an Outlaws timeout, they were forced to foul the Cubs to stop the clock and try to get the ball back. Unfortunately for the Outlaws, the Cubs hit their free-throws to ice the victory.

Palanuk led the Outlaws in scoring with 21 points. Maddox-Castle recorded eight points, Jamen Schwartz scored six, Noah Pittman tallied five, Jessey Murillo scored four, and Froehlich added three.

Coach Chad Rush said, “I was very pleased with the team tonight as we put in a game plan to take away a specific part of Newport’s offensive strategy. We were able to do that tonight, but unfortunately weren’t able to complete the other part of that game plan. The team continued to battle to the very end, which is a sign of maturity and growth for the Outlaws.”

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On Friday, Philomath was just too much for the Outlaws to handle. The Warriors are undefeated in Oregon’s West Conference play, and they showed why they are the No. 5-ranked team in the state. They boast a pair of twin towers in the 6-foot-6-inch juniors Ty May and Chad Russell, and their size was evident early as the Outlaws couldn’t get any good looks and only scored two points on two free-throws from Jessey Murillo in the first quarter.

The second quarter was a close battle and the Outlaws were only outscored 8-11. Again, field goals were hard to come by with the daunting pressure of the Warriors 1-3-1 half-court defense and their six inside. Noah Pittman and Adam Maddox-Castle scored the only two field goals in the period. Pittman, Maddox-Castle, and Palanuk contributed the remaining points at the charity stripe. At the half the Outlaws trailed 10-20.

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The third quarter was much the same as the Outlaws struggled to get any open looks at the basket. The only scoring for Sisters in the final quarter came from Palanuk, who scored all six of the Outlaws’ points.

Palanuk scored 10 points, Maddox-Castle tallied seven, and Pittman added three.

Rush said, “This is a game that is hard to swallow. The team played hard and did a lot of good things early in the game on defense, but just couldn’t get anything going on offense tonight. It is hard to simulate the type of size and skill of the Philomath players in practice and it proved to be too much for us tonight. However, we’re determined to not let this setback go to waste as we prepare for our next opponent.”

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The Outlaws will hit the road for three weeks, starting with a game at Cascade on Tuesday, January 25. On Friday, January 28, they will travel to Woodburn. Coach Rush told The Nugget that the Outlaws will need to learn how to compete and overcome obstacles and challenges on an opponent’s court.


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