Last week’s Jan. 19-20 basketball schedule saw the Outlaw girls continue their winning ways with victories over Union at home on Friday and over Imbler at an away game on Saturday. The boys lost both their corresponding games, leaving them at the bottom of the Wapiti League.
Despite only shooting 27 percent from the floor, the Outlaw girls outlasted Union, 40-34, in a brutally physical game that somehow saw mainly the Outlaws getting called for fouls. The Bobcats’ poor free-throw shooting did not allow them to take advantage of the opportunities presented.
Coach Mike Crawford said the ladies weren’t accustomed to playing such physical ball, and it took the team some time to adjust.
“It was played pretty rough,” he said. “I’ve played Union a lot of times, and they’re not a finesse team. It makes it difficult to be a smooth, quality basketball team when you’re getting beat on, but we weathered it and got it done.”
Because of the number of foul shots, 43, the game had little rhythm or tempo. The Bobcats only scored nine field goals while the rest of their points came at the free throw line. Enterprise scored 17 baskets from the field. The Outlaws led 16-9 at the end of the first quarter but the Bobcats narrowed the gap to 22-21 at halftime. Enterprise came out with a determined second half, outscoring Union 18-13, sealing the victory.
Riley Gray led the scoring with 12 points, shooting 55 percent from the field. Reece Christman followed with seven points and five rebounds. Both Gracie Carlsen and Ashley Exon contributed six points to the effort.
The game at Imbler proved a blowout with the Outlaws shooting 42 percent from the floor and staggering the Panthers with a 45-23 victory. Crawford said that Imbler tried to slow the pace of the game with limited success. The Outlaws led at the half, 20-18, before storming out in the second half, crushing the Panthers 25-5.
Imbler got one three-pointer and two free throws in the second half,” Crawford said. “We really bounced back and looked like ourselves in the second half.”
Karli Bedard led the Outlaws with 10 points while shooting 63 percent from the floor. Riley Gray and Shelby Moncrief each delivered eight into the Outlaw coffers. Carlsen and Gray led on the boards with seven and six rebounds respectively.
The Outlaw boys lost both their games to the same opponents. Turnovers, and not the kind you get at the bakery, spelled doom for the boys in both contests.
Friday’s 46-41 loss at the hands of the Union Bobcats showed a team whose short attention span gave up 20-plus turnovers, many at critical moments down the stretch. Scoring was also spotty with Jimmy Wells’ 16 points and Brett Greenshields’ 12 accounted for more than half the team’s total.
In fact, Wells hit three consecutive shots from outside the paint, the only thing that kept Enterprise in the game during the first half, accounting for 12 of the team’s first 14 points. However, when Wells’ hot hand cooled, no one stepped in to pick up the slack.
“When you’re turning the ball over as much as we are, you’re not moving the ball on offense sufficiently enough to get high-percentage shots,” said coach Larry Wells. “We’re losing games by four to five points and 20 possessions can easily turn into 20 points. We’re not making their defense work hard enough.”
The Outlaws couldn’t penetrate Union’s 1-2-2 zone, but the team failed to either take perimeter shots, or when they did, the ball didn’t fall in. Having two players, Brycen Locke and Greenshields, in the six-foot-six range under the basket failed to provide much momentum for the team.
The following day saw the Outlaws playing better ball, but still coming up short on the scoring end, suffering another loss to Imbler, 51-47, in another game rife with turnovers. Coach Wells said the team played well in the second half but had committed 18 turnovers by the end of the first half.
The Outlaws picked up the pace in the second half, cutting turnovers drastically and outscoring the Panthers, 31-23, but not enough to make up for the first half. The Outlaws even briefly led the game early in the fourth quarter
Greenshields led the scoring with 15, followed by Wells’ nine points, again, more than half the team’s total. No other Outlaw player scored more than five.
“If you don’t have the basketball, it’s hard to challenge a team defensively,” Wells said. He did credit the Outlaws defense for hard work.
“I feel like our defense is good. It’s keeping us in these games despite our 20-25 turnovers.”
Both Outlaw teams next play away at John Day on Friday, Jan. 26.
The Outlaw ladies played Elgin on Jan. 13, trouncing the Huskies, 58-33, in the Saturday contest. Senior Riley Gray led the scoring with 13 points while Ashley Exon, Gracie Carlsen and Karli Bedard mustered 10 points each.
On the same day, the Outlaw boys suffered a 54-51 loss at Elgin. Brycen Locke led the scoring, pouring 14 points into the bucket while reliable Jimmy Wells contributed 12 to the cause. Brett Greenshields and Rylie Hayward scored nine and eight points respectively.