By Rongi Yost

Hoopsters kick off league play with two wins


Last updated 1/11/2023 at Noon

The Outlaws kicked off league play with a 51-46 win on the road over the Elmira Falcons on Tuesday, January 3. Three days later, they posted a 43-29 victory over the Siuslaw Vikings.

In Tuesday’s match-up with the Falcons’, the Outlaws jumped out to a 5-0 lead. Sisters played patiently against the Falcons zone defense, and worked the ball around to get shots and put points on the scoreboard. The Outlaws’ man-to-man defense wasn’t as good, which allowed the Falcons multiple layup opportunities right at the rim. At the end of the first period the Outlaws were down by one, 14-15.

Sisters came out in a half-court trap, and their 1-3-1 defense in the second quarter. The switch worked as the Falcons turned the ball over five times. Elmira did knock down two three-pointers in the quarter, with one at the end of the half, which cut the Outlaws’ lead to four points with a score of 25-21.

Mehkye Froehlich and Jessey Murillo scored all of Sisters’ points in the third quarter. Murillo hit a field goal off a missed layup attempt from Landen Scott as well as hitting two free-throws for four points. Froehlich scored in transition off a Falcon turnover and a nice spinning layup in the key for four points. At the end of the third, the Outlaws held a six-point advantage over Elmira.

In the final period the Falcons took a one-point lead with 4:30 left on the clock. The Outlaws didn’t panic and went on a 16-4 run to take a 10-point lead with just under a minute left in the game. Murillo had the play of the quarter with a put back and foul off a missed layup with two minutes left that gave the Outlaws the momentum to make their run. Kale Gardner scored six points in the quarter, and Scott and Murillo each contributed five points.

Froehlich led the team with 15 points and four steals. Murillo scored 11 points and pulled down nine rebounds. Gardner contributed nine points, and Scott added eight points and four steals.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was a great way to open up league play. To go on the road and get a victory is something that is not easy to do. I was pleased to see the way the team responded late in the game when Elmira took the lead. The guys did not quit or get frustrated, but rather drew on what we have learned in our non-league games and put a run together to give us the momentum to secure the win.”

At home on Friday the Siuslaw Vikings made the long four-hour bus ride from Florence to cap off the first week of league play.

The Vikings play an extended 2-3 and 1-3-1 zone defense, which took the Outlaws a while to figure out. Sisters got good looks at the basket, but their shots didn’t fall. The Vikings were patient against the Outlaws’ man-to-man defense and took advantage of some miscues by the Outlaws. Siuslaw banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to take a 15-5 lead to close out the period.

In the second quarter, the Outlaws switched to a trapping half-court 1-2-2 zone, and then fell back into their 1-3-1 defense. That proved to be effective, as the Vikings turned the ball over four times in the period. Sisters switched offenses as well, and were able to get the ball in the paint, where they scored 12 of their 14 quarter points. The Outlaws outscored the Vikings 14-6 in the quarter and at the half trailed by two, 19-21.

The Outlaws had a great third quarter; they put up 12 points on the scoreboard and held the Vikings to just three points on 10 percent shooting. The Vikings went just one-for-10 and also committed four turnovers. Sisters continued to pound the ball inside and scored eight of their 12 points in the paint. At the end of three the Outlaws were on top by seven, 31-24.

Sisters kept the pressure on in the final period, outscored the Vikings 12-5, and forced them into nine turnovers. Sisters converted those turnovers into 10 of their 12 fourth-quarter points. Froehlich scored six points in the quarter, and Taine Martin had four.

Froehlich led the Outlaws with 12 points and five steals, followed by Scott who tallied 11 points and seven rebounds. Gardner finished with seven points and five rebounds and Adam Maddox-Castle contributed six points and three assists. Martin pitched in for six points and Murillo led the team with eight rebounds.

Rush said, “We knew coming into this game that if we executed our game plan that we would have a very good chance to get the win. Siuslaw came out fighting in the first period, but I was proud of how the team stuck together and never lost focus on what we needed to do to get the win. Our players once again did a great job of turning defensive intensity into offensive efficiency.”

The Outlaws will play on the road at Harrisburg on Friday, January 13.


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