Outlaws season comes to an end

 

Last updated 2/20/2024 at 10:10am



The Outlaws battled hard in their first league playoff game at home against Siuslaw on Friday, February 16, and posted a 62-55 victory. The following day they faced Creswell in a must-win game held at Thurston High School. Sisters came up short in a final score of 40-54, which brought their season to an abrupt finish.

In Friday’s home contest Kale Gardner started the scoring with a driving layup, followed by a layup from Garrett Sager to quickly give the Outlaws a 4-0 lead. The Vikings tied it up at 4-4, and from there teams traded baskets. Brody Fischer and Sager connected on three-pointers which put the Outlaws on top 12-8.The Vikings came back at the end of the period with five straight points and took a one-point lead, 16-17, to close out the quarter.

Sisters started off hot in the second quarter with a 6-0 run; a turn-around jumper from Austin Dean in the key, a transition layup from Landon Scott and a driving layup to the rim from Gardner. The Vikings responded with a run of  their own, regained the lead, and the Outlaws went down 22-24. With 1:20 left in the half, and the Vikings up by three, the Outlaws scored on back-to back possessions, and went up by one, but the Vikings were able to hit a wide open three from the top of the key, and at the half the Outlaws trailed by two, 28-30.

The Outlaws scored the first four points of the third quarter off a steal and transition layup from Scott and a shot from Fischer, while holding the Vikings scoreless for the first two-and-a-half minutes. Siuslaw tied it up at 34-34 and then the Outlaws scored on three consecutive possessions to push to a 47-40 advantage.

Later, Siuslaw hit their fourth three-pointer of the contest and cut the Outlaws’ lead to four points. With time running out, Scott grabbed an offensive rebound, put up a shot, and a foul was called at the buzzer. Scott connected on both free throws and at the end of three the Outlaws held a six point lead, 49-43.

In the final quarter, the Vikings inched back and knotted it up at 52-52. After Siuslaw scored on a layup to take the score to 55-57, the Outlaws kept the Vikings at bay, and didn’t let them score another basket. In the meantime, Sisters went on a 5-0 run to close out the game, two free-throws from Scott, a shot-clock beating pull up mid-range jumper from Gardner, and a free throw from Scott.

Gardner finished the night with 23 points, five rebounds, and three assists. Scott followed with 17 points, four rebounds, and three steals. Fischer contributed 13 points, three rebounds and four assists, and Sager pitched in with five points.

Coach Chad Rush said, “This was a big game for the Outlaws. Not only did it come after two snow days and a cancelled practice, it advanced us to the second round of the league playoffs. We showed some grit tonight as we took some good punches from the Vikings, but were able to stand our ground and not only hold firm, but many times bring the punches right back, and extend or take a lead. I was proud of the defensive effort from the team tonight as we switched defenses multiple times and were able to keep the Vikings off balance.”

A day later the Outlaws fell to Creswell. 

Fischer led the team with 15 points, followed by Scott who put up 14.

“This was a game we really wanted to get in order to get back into the state playoffs for the third consecutive season,” said Rush. “Creswell’s zone defense proved to give us troubles scoring and once they got the lead, never allowed us to make long runs to get back into the game. I thought we did a good job, despite our offensive struggles, of battling and keeping the game close. I always felt we had a chance to make a run and turn the game around, but unfortunately that just never happened. I am sad to see the season come to a close with this group of great young men.”

 

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