Boys basketball: Huskies struggle against top-shooting teams

In a week of stiff competition, Sweet Home boys basketball fell to two of the top ten teams in the state, losing at No. 5 North Marion 65-27 on Jan. 31 and to No. 8 Stayton at home 70-26 on Feb. 2.

The results extended the Huskies’ losing streak to 17 games.

In the Tuesday game, North Marion (14-3) jumped out to a 25-12 lead by halftime before dominating the third quarter 29-6. The other Huskies outshot Sweet Home (1-17) from the field 49.0% to 27.3%. Sweet Home turned the ball over 22 times while forcing 15.

“We played a really good first half defensively,” said Sweet Home Head Coach Drew Emmert.

“We were playing one of the best-scoring teams in the state and one of the best teams in the state, and we held them to 25 points while having 14 turnovers of our own, which is way too many. But to still hold them to 25 points while turning the ball over, we did really well in the half court defense.”

He said that “We just struggled to play without turning the ball over and struggled to hit shots. We’re not going to be able to upset any of these top ten teams in the state if we don’t hit some shots.”

Junior Nathan Aker led Sweet Home in scoring with seven points on 3-13 shooting. Junior Collin Nicholson scored six points on 3-7 shooting, and junior Vegas Mauer had five points on 2-5 shooting.

Against Stayton (13-5), Sweet Home was down 39-10 at halftime on the way to the 44-point loss.

The Eagles shot 56% from the field while Sweet Home shot at a 29% rate. The Huskies turned the ball over 20 times while only forcing eight.

“Stayton’s a really good and big team,” Emmert said. “They’re an extremely tough matchup for us. Our league is so good that almost every night we play a top ten team in the state, and a team that has a chance to win a state championship. And they’re one of them.”

He said that “To compete in those games we have to shoot well and play really well. And we didn’t start off very well in that game, and then it was just hard to recover. We just didn’t play very well. I didn’t think our energy was very high on defense, and we didn’t shoot very well from the field.”

Aker again led Sweet Home in scoring with 11 points on 4-9 shooting. Junior Will Jewell scored seven points on 2-5 shooting. Nicholson scored four on 1-5 shooting.

This week the Huskies travel to Newport (7-11) for a 5:30 p.m. game on Thursday, Feb. 9.