By Rongi Yost

Outlaws Basketball notches a win on the road


Last updated 2/15/2022 at Noon

The Outlaws have had a hard time on the road, but this past week, the hoopsters posted a big 50-25 victory at Sweet Home against the Huskies.

The game on Tuesday, February 8, didn’t start well for the Outlaws as Sweet Home jumped out and took a quick 8-0 lead.

The Huskies came out in a triangle-and-2 defense, which confused the Outlaws offensive attack.

In addition, Max Palanuk and Jessey Murillo picked up two early fouls in the quarter and the Outlaws had to look to the bench and get Noah Pittman and Mehkye Froehlich on the court earlier than normal.

Both players made an immediate impact on the game.

Pittman provided defensive intensity and Froehlich scored five quick points to get the Outlaws on the board.

After the slow start, the Outlaws outscored the Huskies 9-2 in the quarter, and at the close of the first period Sisters only trailed by two, 9-11.

In the second quarter, the Outlaws came out in multiple zone defenses to slow the Huskies attack. That proved to be a very good decision as the Outlaws held the Huskies scoreless the entire quarter, and only allowed them five field goal attempts. Palanuk bounced back from his foul trouble and contributed six points in the quarter, and Ricky Huffman added five. At the half, the Outlaws were on top 20-11.

The Outlaws held on to the momentum they’d gained in the second quarter through offensive patience and execution. Palanuk hit two long balls, the second one coming after the Outlaws held the ball for the last 24 seconds of the quarter. The team executed the set play to perfection to give Palanuk a wide-open shot in the corner. Adam Maddox-Castle had several drives into the lane and contributed six points in the quarter. At the end of the third the Outlaws had extended their lead to 36-20.

Sisters continued their aggressive play and continued to use multiple zone defenses against the Huskies in the final quarter. Palanuk scored six points and Schwartz hit a nice three-point shot. AJ Scholl contributed three points off the bench as well. After being down 0-8 at the start of the game, the Outlaws went on to outscore the Huskies 50-17.

Palanuk led the Outlaws’ scoring spree with 18 points, followed by Maddox-Castle, who scored eight. Jamen Schwartz tallied seven points, Ricky Huffman had six, and Froehlich contributed five.

Senior captains Max Palanuk and Ricky Huffman shared their thoughts on the win.

Palanuk said, “It felt really good to get a win on the road. We started off a bit slow in the first quarter, but Coach Rush made some adjustments. We gained momentum and were able to keep building a lead in the second half.”

Huffman said, “We all played great and the win was very much a combination of everybody coming together as a team. We started off the game pretty badly, but after a quick timeout Coach really figured it out and we came back with a 20-3 run.”

Coach Chad Rush said, “I was very proud of the grit and maturity the team showed tonight. Getting down early on the road is a difficult situation to find yourself in. The boys responded well and were able to slow things down and figure the Husky trick defense out. It was a good team win with multiple players contributing in multiple ways.”

Sisters made the four-hour road trip to Newport for a matchup against the Cubs on Friday. The Cubs were just coming off a game on Thursday night at Philomath so the Outlaws were hoping they could beat a tired team. That was not the case as the Cubs controlled the game for most of the contest.

Newport scored the first points of the game, but the Outlaws stayed strong and took a 7-3 lead into the second half of the first quarter. The score seesawed back and forth with the Outlaws taking their last lead at 11-10 before the Cubs hit a three-pointer to take the lead and hold on to it through the end of the quarter. Palanuk scored seven points and Huffman scored five for the Outlaws’ 12 points in the quarter. The Cubs finished the period with 15 points.

The Cubs went on a 10-4 run in the second quarter to expand their lead to 25-16 halfway through the period. The Outlaws were able to cut the lead to six points at the half behind a long ball from Palanuk with 10 seconds left on the clock. At the half the Outlaws trailed 23-29.

Newport controlled most of the third quarter until the Outlaws made a 6-0 run late in the period to cut their lead to five points. Sadly, the Cubs hit a three-pointer to close the quarter and take an eight-point lead as teams headed into the final period. Huffman scored five points, Palanuk had four, and Maddox-Castle had three points for the Outlaws 12 three-quarter points.

The Cubs expanded their lead quickly in the final period with a 9-3 run, and the Outlaws were never able to whittle down the deficit.

Palanuk led the Outlaws in scoring with 16 points, and Huffman followed with 13. Maddox-Castle tallied five points and Froehlich and Noah Pittman added four points each.

Rush said, “I was happy to see the team come out and compete well after such a long bus ride. I really feel the game was a much closer game than the final 13-point spread, as we did a good job of making Newport work to score their points. We once again learned a few things in our zone defense that I think we can take into our upcoming games.”

The Outlaws were to play at Philomath on Tuesday.


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