Following the Outlaws’ painful loss to Elgin Dec. 9, the team traveled to McLoughlin High at Milton-Freewater for a Dec. 13 matchup. The Outlaws played tough, but still succumbed 40-39 in a defense-dominated battle.
“It was a low-scoring game, even though we had a 16-point fourth quarter,” said Coach Larry Wells. “I felt like our defense was very good. We held Mac High to 40 points which I think is one of their lower productions for the year.”
It was McLoughlin’s lowest point total of the year. The school is also a 4A school with a 5-1 record.
Shooting was the weak point with coach Wells noting a performance of less than 30 percent from the floor. He said two of the Outlaws normal high-scorers combined for 2 of 13 shots in the three-point range.
“If it hadn’t been for defense, you could see where it could have gotten out of hand,” Wells said. “We are traditionally a better shooting team than that. We needed to make our outside shots when they ran their 2-3 zone defense against us. It made for a long night.”
Wells said that the team made some fourth-quarter adjustments, which included cranking up the defense and forcing McLoughlin to switch to a man-to-man defense. The Outlaws actually led by four in the final two minutes of the contest and still had a shot in the waning seconds to tie the game.
“We got fouled on a three-point shot that put us within one, but we missed the foul shot in the last seconds of the game.”
Leading scorers included Rylie Hayward with nine, mostly in the critical fourth quarter, Chris Bathke with eight and Jimmy Wells with seven.