Basketball squad suffers three straight losses


Last updated 1/30/2024 at 10:29am

The Outlaws basketball squad fell 50-62 on the road to the Siuslaw Vikings on Monday, January 22, in a game that had been rescheduled due to inclement weather the previous week. Three days later they lost 49-69 on the road at Pleasant Hill, and on Saturday they suffered a tough 59-63 loss at home against La Pine.

The Outlaws got off to a rough start on Tuesday against the Vikings, and were outscored 8-17 in the first quarter. Kale Gardner scored the first points of the game with a three-pointer on the wing off an Oliver Bernhardt assist, but from there the Vikings went on a 0-13 run before the Outlaws scored again.

Gardner made a baseline drive, and finished at the hoop for the first points of the second quarter, but the Vikings forged ahead and the Outlaws found themselves down 14-23. Sisters buckled down, found some rhythm, and went on a 10-0 run to take a one-point lead. Gardner hit a deep three-pointer, Will McDonald made a transition layup on a full court pass from Gardner, and Scott made a baseline floater to get the scoring started. Gardner wrapped up the scoring with a jumper from the free-throw line and also made one of two free throw attempts. The Vikings scored the final three points in the quarter and at the half the Outlaws trailed by just two, 24-26.

In the third, Landon Scott connected on a three-pointer from the wing to cut the Vikings lead to one. Siuslaw extended their lead to six, but then Brody Fischer hit a driving layup and cut the Vikings lead to four with two minutes left in the quarter. Unfortunately, that was the closest the Outlaws would get for the remainder of the game.

The Vikings increased their lead to 15 points with four minutes left in the final period. Sisters did claw back with some full court pressure and cut the lead to six when Scott hit a long ball with 1:30 left in the game. The Outlaws were forced to foul, the Vikings tacked on several more points from the charity stripe, and recorded the win.

Scott finished the night with 15 points, and four rebounds, and Gardner recorded 11 points and four assists. Fischer tallied 11 points, three rebounds and two steals, and Silva contributed points and five rebounds. 

Dean contributed in all areas of the game with two points, four rebounds, three assists and two steals. Levi Szesze added two points, three assists and two steals.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was a tough game for us. I am proud of the effort the team put together in the second quarter to battle back and take a lead after playing like we did in that first quarter.”

Three days later, the Outlaws knew they’d have their work cut out for them against the No. 3 ranked Billies.

After giving up the first basket of the contest, the Outlaws settled in and played a fantastic first quarter. Austin Dean hit back-to-back buckets to give Sisters a 6-4 advantage. The Outlaws took a 9-4 lead when Gardner hit a three-pointer on a steal and pass from Oliver Bernhardt. The score was knotted up at 12-12 with 1.6 left in the period and the Outlaws had an out of bounds opportunity to get the final score of the quarter. Fischer caught a Gardner assist in the corner and made a twisting, fall-away long ball as time expired, which put the Outlaws on top 15-12.

Sisters went up by eight in the second quarter, but the Billies came back and cut the lead to one point at 25-26. Gardner hit a pair of free-throws and then with 13 seconds left scored the last points of the quarter on a driving layup that went high off the backboard and dropped in. At the half Sisters held a 31-27 lead.

Thirty seconds into the third period Bernhardt connected on a three-pointer and the Outlaws went up by seven.

Rush said, “The Billies weren’t used to being down at halftime so they made some adjustments at the break, came out strong, and started to chip away at our lead. On defense they began to put pressure on the Outlaws in the full court and they switched their defense to a box-and-one with a defender chasing Kale Gardner wherever he went. This caused us to speed up and commit five turnovers in the quarter, as well as break the offensive flow we had going in the first quarter.”

The Billies went on a 10-0 run before the Outlaws would score again. Scott hit two three- pointers, the first one from the top of the key that tied the game 37-37. Two minutes later he hit his second long ball that cut the Billies lead to two points, 42-44. At the end of three, the Outlaws trailed by four, 44-48.

Pleasant Hill kept up their defensive pressure in the final quarter and caused five Outlaw turnovers, and put an additional 21 points on the scoreboard. Sisters couldn’t find the bottom of the net and scored only five points. Time expired and the Billies recorded the win.

Scott led the squad with 17 points, and Gardner followed with 13. Fischer and Dean scored six points each, and Bernhardt pitched in with five. Scott, Gardner, and Dean also grabbed four rebounds each.

Rush said, “After how well the team came out and executed on both ends of the floor, this was a hard game to lose. Our performance in the first half showed us what we have always been capable of doing on both sides of the floor. On offense, we were patient, often worked the ball to multiple sides of the floor, and we attacked the rim with strength and poise. On defense, we were tough on their drives and finished the possession with securing the rebound which we had struggled with in previous games. I am confident that this loss can propel us forward as we dive head first into league play and fight to make the league playoffs for the second straight season.”

On Saturday the Outlaws lost in the final minutes in a tough battle against La Pine.

Sisters came out hot with Gardner scoring a three-pointer for the first points of the contest. Bernhardt and Scott also connected on long balls from behind the arc and the Outlaws had built their lead to 21-7. The Hawks came back and put points on the board and at the close of the period Sisters was on top 21-15.

The Hawks stormed back with an 11-2 run in the second quarter and took a three-point lead at 23-26. Gardner hit his second three-pointer to tie it up 26-26, and Fischer hit a three on the Outlaws next possession to knot it up 29-29. At the half Sisters was still ahead 33-31.

Teams traded baskets for most of the third quarter, but Sisters hit three consecutive three-pointers to go from a four-point deficit to the five-point advantage. Scott connected on three of the four long balls and led the Outlaws with 11 points in the period. At the end of three Sisters held a 53-48 advantage.

Sadly for the Outlaws, their lead disappeared in the final minutes of the contest. The Hawks surged ahead with steady and consistent scoring and Sisters took the three-point loss.

Gardner led the Outlaws with 20 points, Scott put up 18, Bernhardt seven, and Silva and Fischer added six points each.

“This was a tough loss,” said Rush. “Our offense looked really good again in stretches, but I thought defensively we gave up too much dribble penetration, which led to many layups or close to the rim shots. We need to regroup as we have three games next week that will all be big tests for the Outlaws.”

Sisters was to play at Elmira on Tuesday, January 30. They will play at home against Siuslaw on Friday, and then on the road at Creswell on Saturday.


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