By Rongi Yost
Correspondent 

Outlaws notch big win on hardwood

 

Last updated 1/24/2023 at Noon



The boys basketball squad fell 55-41 at home against Pleasant Hill on Wednesday, January 18, and at home two days later knocked off Creswell, the No. 1 ranked team in league (4-0) and the No. 6 ranked team in 3A, in an exciting 51-50 overtime win.

Friday’s home game against Creswell was an exciting barn-burner to the end of regulation, which extended into overtime with the Outlaws edging out the Bulldogs by one.

The Bulldogs started strong in the first quarter and the Outlaws quickly went down 5-10. Later, Mehkye Froehlich scored on a jump shot with an assist from Kale Gardner to start the Outlaws’ 6-1 run that closed out the quarter and brought the Outlaws to within one with a score of 11-12.

Sisters kicked off the second quarter with a 6-2 run and took a 17-14 lead. The Bulldogs scored the first two points of the period, and then the Outlaws scored six straight points, a steal, and layup from Froehlich, a steal from Hudson Beckwith, and an offensive rebound and put-back from Landon Scott. Another steal from Froehlich, with an offensive rebound and put-back from Gardner, forced a Bulldog timeout.

Adam Maddox-Castle ended the first half with a three-point buzzer-beater with an assist from Scott, which tied the game up 23-23 as teams entered the half.

Gardner got the scoring started in the third quarter with a layup off an inbounds play from Maddox-Castle. Froehlich followed with a coast-to-coast layup to give the Outlaws a four-point lead. Sisters held the Bulldogs to their worst shooting quarter of the game thanks to their hard-nosed aggressive man-to-man defense. The Outlaws wrapped up the quarter with a two-point lead, with a score of 36-34 behind Froehlich’s seven points in the quarter.

Teams battled back and forth in the final quarter and neither team was able to find their rhythm. With 31 seconds left on the clock, the Outlaws found themselves down by five at 43-48. Froehlich hit a tough back- door layup off an assist from Maddox-Castle and cut the lead to three.

Sisters immediately fouled on the inbounds play to stop the clock and put the Bulldogs at the free-throw line shooting a one-and-one. The Bulldogs missed and Jessey Murillo secured the rebound and called for a timeout.

With only 10 seconds left on the clock, the Outlaws had to go the length of the floor and score a three-point basket to tie the game.

Sisters inbounded the ball and the Bulldogs immediately fouled.

The Outlaws had the ball on the sideline in front of the Bulldogs bench with 7.5 seconds left. On the inbound, Maddox-Castle found Murillo at half-court, and Murillo immediately gave the ball back to Maddox-Castle, who was streaking down the court. Maddox-Castle found Froehlich open on the wing and passed it ahead.

With five seconds left, Froehlich saw Gardner, who was wide open on the other side of the floor, and made the pass.

Gardner received the pass and calmly knocked down the long ball as time expired to send the game into overtime.

The Outlaws entered overtime for the first time this season, and Gardner scored the first points when he hit one of two free-throw attempts. The Bulldogs scored their only basket approximately one minute later and took a one-point lead at 49-50 with 2:30 left on the clock.

Sisters’ defense remained strong and disciplined, and they got important stops to keep the score within one point. With 7.8 seconds left on the clock, the Outlaws were still down by one and called a timeout. Gardner inbounded the ball to Murillo at the three-point arc and then raced to the basket. Murillo gave the ball back to Gardner, who drove to the basket and converted a tough, contested layup with time running out, which gave the Outlaws the one-point, 51-50, victory. The crowd erupted as the Outlaws celebrated the win.

Rush said, “This victory was a culmination of all the hard work this team has been putting in over the past several weeks. I am so proud of how the team responded multiple times to adversity and were able to stay focused and poised. This was a great program win as the JV and JV2 teams were able to get wins as well. With a game right away on Monday, we will need to use the things we learned in this game to carry us forward as we have three games next week.

“The atmosphere in the gym was electric and I hope that will continue as we head into the second half of league play,” added Rush.

The Outlaws were scheduled to play at La Pine on Monday, January 23. They will play at home against Elmira on Wednesday, January 25, and then play on the road at Siuslaw on Friday, January 27.

 

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