By Rongi Yost
Correspondent 

Lady Outlaws fall in first round

 

Last updated 3/1/2022 at Noon



The Lady Outlaws traveled to Corbett on Saturday, February 26, for the first round of the OSAA state basketball playoffs. Sisters, seeded 22nd, was pitted against Corbett, the 11th seed. The Cardinals entered the game with a 19-3 record, with two losses to No. 7- ranked Madras by three and four points respectively and one loss to No. 5-ranked Gladstone. Despite an excellent overall record, those losses placed them third in the Tri-Valley Conference.

The Outlaws were the sixth-place team from the Oregon West Conference and squeaked into the play-in game despite their 7-16 record. Sisters made it strictly on the strength of their league schedule, with three of the teams ranked in the top seven in the state, and also their five preseason wins.

Coach Paul Patton told The Nugget that the Lady Outlaws had hopes going into the game that if they played well and Corbett had an off night they might have a chance at an upset. Unfortunately for the Outlaws, that wasn’t the case.

The Cardinals came out on fire, and easily made shots from the outside. At the close of the quarter they’d racked up 24 points, including four shots from behind the arc. (Corbett tallied a total of 10 three-pointers in the contest.) Sisters finished the period with seven points.

Sisters struggled against Corbett’s extended pressure on defense. They turned the ball over numerous times, and did not get very many opportunities to score. The Cardinals continued to score and extend their lead, and crushed the Outlaws with a 23-71 victory.

Ila Reid stood out for the Outlaws with her tough play on both ends of the court and Josie Patton also played her heart out. Haleigh Froehlich was a bright spot with a relentless desire to score, and her team-leading six points were hard-earned.

“The girls continued to play hard and compete for the duration of the contest despite the lopsided score,” said Patton. “I’m proud of the fact we were able to give 14 athletes time on the court and a taste of playoff basketball. Even though we came away with a tough loss, the fact that we got to play an extra game this season, and had three more practices before that, will help us moving forward.”

“We are better off for the experience, closer as a team, and more determined to keep moving forward,” added Patton.”

Patton noted seniors Emma Lutz, Payden Petterson, and Reese Harwell, who saw their last action with high school basketball. He told The Nugget he’s grateful for their contribution to and leadership of the team, and said they will be missed greatly.

Next year the team will return nine as senior players, along with some talented underclassmen, which gives them optimism about the future of the program. Patton stated the team just has to back up that optimism with continued hard work and dedication.

 

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