Outlaws basketball squad splits games


Last updated 1/2/2024 at 3:02pm

The Outlaws boys hopsters came out on top 48-42 at home against the visiting Sweet Home Huskies on Tuesday, December 19, and a day later fell 45-58 on the road at Estacada.

On Tuesday against the Huskies the score went back and forth during the first quarter, and was knotted up four times. Diego Silva, Brody Fischer, Landon Scott, and Kale Gardner all contributed points to make it a 10-8 Outlaw lead with 1:40 left in the quarter. The Huskies closed out the period on a 0-5 run, which included four points off of two Outlaw turnovers in the final minute. At the close of the first, the Outlaws trailed 10-13.

The Huskies held on to a four- to five-point lead for the first four minutes of the second quarter, and then the Outlaws went on a 6-0 run. Fischer hit a jump hook bank shot from Garrett Sager, and then Levi Szesze had a driving layup from the right corner on an assist from Gardner that tied the game at 20-20. On the next possession, Szesze stole the ball, drove to the basket, and hit Fischer for the layup.

Sweet Home tied it up at 24-24 with a minute left in the half. Gardner closed out the quarter with five points; a transition layup off a Husky missed shot, and a left-wing three-pointer with 21 seconds left. At the half the Outlaws held a 27-24 advantage.

At the start of the third quarter Sweet Home tightened the zone they’d been running all game, and the Outlaws’ had trouble finding open shots. Gardner got the Outlaws scoring started with a beautiful back-door cut on a pass from Scott, and a minute later Fischer hit a three-pointer in front of the Outlaws’ bench off a great pass from Hudson Beckwith. Scott and Silva also scored and Sisters closed out the period with a 36-34 lead.

The Outlaws held the Huskies scoreless for the first six-and-a-half minutes in the final quarter. During that time Sisters extended their two-point lead to seven. With 1:40 left in the game Silva converted on a three-point play when he took a pass from Scott at the free-throw line and took the rack for the basket and the foul. He hit the shot at the stripe and the Outlaws went up 41-34.

Sweet Home persisted and put together some consecutive baskets to keep it a two-possession game. However, the Outlaws converted five of their six free-throw attempts down the stretch to keep the Huskies at bay.

Scott led the team with 14 points, six rebounds, five assists, and two steals, and Gardner followed with 12 points, four boards, and three assists. Fischer tallied 11 points and pulled down five rebounds and Silva contributed nine points and three assists. Szesze added two points and both Szesze and Sager had four rebounds.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was a game that was important for the Outlaws. Being at home against a scrappy and aggressive opponent was a real test for our team. Being short-handed, we were able to see some resilience and grit from the players tonight. I believe that will be a good lesson for us to take forward with us as we finish out our non-league schedule and head into Mountain Valley Conference play at the start of the new year.”

A day later, Sisters came out fighting against the Estacada Rangers, and scored the first points of the game on a Gardner three-pointer from the top of the key on an assist from Sager. Despite the fact that the Rangers hit six three-pointers in the quarter, the Outlaws maintained a lead until Estacada hit a long ball with just seconds left on the clock. At the close of the period the Outlaws trailed by two, 18-20, with Gardner scoring 10 of the Outlaws’ points.

Fischer got the scoring started in the second quarter on a short baseline jumper on an assist from Gardner. The Outlaws regained the lead at 27-26 when Beckwith connected on a wing three-pointer on a Silva assist.

Unfortunately, the Outlaws watched the Rangers go on a 5-0 run before Fischer scored down low. Sisters applied defensive pressure, and forced the Rangers to turn the ball over six times in the quarter. At the half the Outlaws trailed 29-33.

Sisters struggled to find an answer to the Rangers’ 2-3 zone in the third. Scott and Sager scored the Outlaws’ first points of the quarter, and then the team was held scoreless for three minutes. Finally, Sager stole a rebound from the Rangers, and made a pass to Fischer under the basket for the score. Fischer scored again thanks to a nice hustle play from Sager, who after diving on the ground to secure a loose ball, hit Fischer in the middle of the key for a basket. The Outlaws were outscored 11-17 in the quarter and were down by 10 (40-50) at the end of the period.

The Outlaws were marked by poor shooting in the final quarter, and only connected on 15 percent of their shots. Despite their poor shooting, they held the Rangers to their lowest shooting at 25 percent. Sisters did get to within seven points with 3:42 left on the clock, but at the end the Rangers went on a 5-0 run to close out the game.

Rush said, “We knew this was going to be a tough road game for us as Estacada always plays physical, aggressive basketball. We wanted to take advantage of the Rangers’ tendency to turnover the ball. We did just that and forced them to turn the ball over 22 times, but unfortunately we couldn’t turn many of those turnovers into points. This was a good lesson for us on how to compete and be competitive when our offense is not flowing very well.”

Gardner led the Outlaws in scoring with 11 points, and in addition had six assists and three steals. Fischer scored 11 points, pulled down nine boards, and tallied two steals. Scott recorded eight points, and Silva contributed six. Sager put four points on the scoreboard, had five rebounds and four assists, and Beckwith pitched in with three points.

The Outlaws will resume play at their annual holiday tournament, which will be Thursday through Saturday, December 28-30.


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