The Enterprise Outlaws boys brought along their six-shooters to the home basketball court for the weekend, sending both Wallowa and Pine Eagle to Boot Hill. The win over the Wallowa Cougars on Friday, Dec. 13, was special because the Outlaws had fallen to the Cougs 38-35 about a week before.
The Outlaws came loaded for bear in their 60-36 victory, outscoring the Cougs 11-1 in the first quarter and 22-5 in the third quarter for the victory. The Cougars, who had played a tough game the previous night, looked tired at times, although they caught fire enough to keep the Outlaws on their toes.
At one point, the Cougars got to within eight late in the first half, but a locker room talk between Crawford and the team set the team to righting its course.
Cason Kirkland led the Outlaws in points, knocking 16 through the hoop while Devin Greer added eight. Foster Hobbs and Flynn Nave each added seven for the win. Defensively, David Salim took home eight boards while Kirkland and Greer each had seven.
“We played better as a team and moved the ball really well,” Coach Kyle Crawford said. “We stuck to our game plan and ended up with fewer turnovers.”
For the Cougs, Tristin Bales put in an inspired performance with 28 points, one of the few bright spots for his squad.
Both teams played a physical game and until sometime in the second quarter, the teams had more combined fouls than points. With a number of players in foul trouble early, Wallowa had to resort to playing a 2-3 zone defense, which hurt their ability to defend their goal.
Frustrated with calls, coach Cody Lathrop received a technical after arguing a foul call, something he was not proud of.
“I need to do a better job of setting an example for my team,” he said.
The Pine Eagle Spartans met a similar fate on Saturday, falling 75-50 in a shootout with the Outlaws, behind a 29-point blaze by Greer.
In addition to Greer’s 29 points, Kirkland knocked in 14, going 4 of 6 from behind the paint and dished out a dozen assists. Foster Hobbs chipped in with nine. Defensive stats include Kirkland’s team-leading nine boards while Greer added four steals to the effort.
Crawford said that despite the score, he didn’t feel as though the game was in hand until midway through the fourth quarter.
“I thought that at any minute, they could light it up and start scoring against us,” he said. They were a tough opponent.”
The Outlaws don’t play again until Friday, Dec. 27 at Nixyaawii for that school’s tournament. The Cougs play at home versus the La Grande junior varsity today, Wednesday, Dec. 18 at 7 p.m.