Both the boys and girls Outlaws weren’t afraid to take a heavy load in the opening week of basketball season. Both squads played a three-game schedule against Wallowa, Crane and Prairie City. 

The lady Outlaws gunned down the Wallowa Cougars 31-23 in a Nov. 28 contest at home. Enterprise Coach Mike Crawford called his team’s performance “rough.”

“We’ve got a little bit of work to do,” he said. The squad shot only 22 percent from the floor and missed all 12 attempts from the three-point range. Free throw percentage was 29 percent.

“You know you have learning to do in game one,” Crawford said. “I’ve got a lot of new players on the floor, but we’ll be all right.”

Karli Bedard, the only Outlaw who shot 50 percent from the floor, led scoring with 11 points while Shelby Moncrief scored six.

Cougars Ella Moeller and Shanna Rae Tillery led scoring with six points each, followed by Ashlyn Young with five, Jamie Johnston with four and Haley Brockamp with two.

“I was pleased with the effort that the girls gave,” said Coach David Howe. “We played well enough defensively to win the game, but offensively we struggled with turnovers and shooting. It was great game to build from; the mistakes we made are correctable we just need more time for practice and to play more.”

Howe said the team’s competitiveness and intensity steadily improved throughout the game.

The loss brings the Cougars to 0-1 for the season. The Cougars scored most of their points in the second half of the game.

The Outlaws bucked off by the Crane Mustangs Nov. 30, 53-44. The ladies fought hard, going into the half down 21-18 and the fourth quarter down 36-34 before a defensive collapse led to the Mustangs scoring 17 while the Outlaws netted 10.

Once again, shooting percentages spelled doom for the ladies as they shot only 29 percent from the floor with seniors Lexie Gasset scoring 13 and Shelby Moncrief eight. Ashlyn Gray gathered 15 rebounds.

“I thought we played pretty well,” Crawford said, “but we didn’t shoot the ball as well as I thought we should. Our shot selection is fine; we just have to make more.” He complimented the team’s defensive effort.

The following day’s game saw the Outlaws back in the saddle, clobbering Prairie City 47-26 behind Moncrief’s 12 points. The team still shot only 29 percent from the floor.

“I never felt we were in danger of losing the game, but you have to make baskets somewhere along the line,” Crawford said. 

Carsyn Miller knocked in eight points and Rilyn Kirkland had six and hauled in nine rebounds.

Crawford noted that almost all the varsity experience is with the squad’s seniors with very little on the rest of the team. 

“Right now, we’re learning a lot, day by day by day,” he said.

The ladies are 2-1 for the season and next play Pine Eagle on Dec. 7, as part of the Enterprise Winter Classic.

The Enterprise boys put the hurt on the Cougars with a convincing 45-27 win Nov. 28, a game that saw a Wallowa player ejected for a flagrant foul while a Wallowa fan was threatened with ejection.

“I think we established a really nice baseline for the year, and something to build forward on,” said Coach Wells. He also noted that although the squad moved the ball well, they also missed a number of high-percentage shots, although he was happy with the shot opportunities the team earned.

Dyaln Marr led the scoring, dumping in 13 points while teammate Cory Aschenbrenner tallied 10 in the hole. Cason Kirkland and Devin Greer each tallied a lucky seven.

“We had some decent and balanced scoring,” Wells said. He noted the play of Riley Masters, who started in the point guard slot after missing much of last season with a severe concussion. 

“He did a great job,” Wells said. “He played great defense ran the offense well.”

Cougar Christopher Nobles led scoring with 12 points, followed by Wyatt Prince with seven, Tristin Bales six and Zane Mallory contributed two. 

“The effort was good, but the execution was not,” said coach David Howe. “We were still in football mode a little bit after reaching the semi-finals.”

Howe added that taking that into consideration, coupled with the fact that the team only had two practices with everyone there, “we performed as one might expect.”

The loss brings the Cougars to 0-1 for the season. The Cougars scored most of their points in the first half of the game.

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