By Rongi Yost

Outlaws dismantled on hardwood


Last updated 2/22/2022 at Noon

Jerry Baldock

Ricky Huffman puts up two vs. Cascade.

The Outlaws boys basketball squad lost both their games this past week against the top two teams in the state. The Outlaws boys fell 50-32 at Philomath on Tuesday, February 15, and three days later were beaten with a score of 55-38 at home against Cascade.

On Tuesday, the Outlaws traveled to Philomath and faced the No.-1-ranked Warriors. It was senior night for Philomath and the team came out fired up in the first quarter. A three-pointer from Max Palanuk gave the Outlaws their lone lead of the game. From there, the Warriors went on a 14-2 run. The Warriors forced turnovers on nine consecutive Outlaw possessions and scored 12 of their 16 quarter points as a result.

The Outlaws tried to get the tide to turn in the second quarter by playing a 1-2-2 zone defense. That didn’t slow the Warriors down as they shot four-for-seven from the three-point line. The Outlaws were forced to go back to their man-to-man defense to try and take away the Warriors’ outside shot. Ricky Huffman scored four points and Jessey Murillo contributed two points, for Sisters’ only points in the quarter. At the half, the Outlaws trailed 11-32.

In the third period, the Outlaws were able to cut the halftime deficit down behind a timely triple-try from Palanuk and baskets from Huffman and Jamen Schwartz, but the Warriors closed out the quarter on a 10-3 run.

Despite the large deficit, the Outlaws never quit and ended the game by winning the final quarter 11-4. Palanuk hit his fourth long ball of the game, and AJ Scholl contributed four points in the quarter, along with some terrific offensive rebound put-backs.

Palanuk led the team with 15 points. Huffman scored six points, and Scholl and Murillo added four points each.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was another game where our turnovers sabotaged our game plan by allowing an already very good team to score some easy baskets and increase a lead each quarter. We must continue to get better as we look to finish off the season with some more tough opponents.

“I was proud of how the boys finished the game in the fourth quarter,” added Rush. “That will hopefully give us something to build off of as we prepare for our remaining games of the season.”

After three weeks on the road the Outlaws finally got to play on their home court on Friday, but were upended by top-ranked Cascade. The Cougars’ 6-foot-11-inch and 6-foot-7-inch posts, along with their highly skilled perimeter players, were too much for the Outlaws to handle.

Sisters started the game with competitive play behind some solid baskets from Adam Maddox-Castle. The Cougars’ big men got some easy shots and extended Cascade’s lead to eight points at the end of the first quarter.

In the second period the teams played even. Schwartz scored five points, including a big three-point shot to keep the Outlaws within striking distance. Sisters was only outscored by two, 11-9, in the period. The Cougars hit a three-pointer at the buzzer and at the half the Outlaws trailed 18-28.

The Outlaws struggled offensively in the third. They put two points on the scoreboard off a lay-up by Ricky Huffman, and then Palanuk hit a long ball at the buzzer to give the Outlaws five points in the period.

Sisters didn’t quit, buckled down, played a good fourth quarter, and outscored the Cougars 15-11. Huffman had a solid quarter, scored four points, and played with hustle and energy. Scholl and Murillo also scored four points each in the quarter.

Huffman finished with eight points, Schwartz had seven, Noah Pittman contributed six, and Palanuk tallied five. Murillo and Scholl added four points each.

Rush said, “I was pleased with how the team competed tonight against top-ranked Cascade. Playing against a team as talented and skilled as Cascade poses a challenge, but our kids did a terrific job of fighting, scrapping, and making Cascade earn their points and final outcome.”

The Outlaws were to wrap up league play at home against Woodburn on Tuesday, February 22.


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