The Joseph Eagles boys squad outdistanced the Wallowa Cougars 64-42 in a game Feb. 14 in Wallowa. The halftime score was 33-21, but in the second half the Eagles pulled steadily away. The game was fast paced and frenetic, with Wallowa committing 29 turnovers, and Joseph giving up the ball 24 times. Chase Murray dropped in 16 points for Joseph. Hadley Miller posted 12, and Mason Ferre‘ scored 11. For Wallowa, Tristin Bales scored 15 and Quinten Tillery tallied 12.
Despite the 22-point spread, Joseph coach Olan Fulfer said the Eagles had their work cut out for them.
“They played hard and they’ve improved a lot since the last time we played them,” Eagles’ coach Olan Fulfer said. “They took the momentum from our second half. They were able to come out and make it tough on us for a long time.”
Coach Cody Lathrop said the Cougs played well against the Eagles, but 14 missed open shots helped lead to the defeat.
“The offense was working well,” he said. We were creating turnovers, and if we’d made the shots we normally make, we probably could have been right there with them.”
Saturday saw the Cougars’ machine travel to Griswold to deliver a walloping and then some to the hapless Grizzlies, 78-35. The Grizzlies were short on men as only six players suited up.
“We executed at a very high level on the road,” coach Cody Lathrop said. “We shot the ball well and did what we wanted when we wanted to.”
The coach said that the half-court trap defense worked exceptionally well on the Grizzlies, resulting in a 24-4 first quarter score for the Cougs, led by Tristin Bales’ 14 points in the frame.
The Cougs, working within Lathrop’s offense, suddenly realized their potential, and one three-pointer led to another — and another. The team sank nine by game’s end.
“We played really well last night, and it’s a shame that we figured it out when we did (at the end of the season),” Lathrop said. “We have a lot of hope for the future.”
The Cougars ended the season with a 3-9 Old Oregon League record and 7-15 overall.