Boys hold off Cubs to stay undefeated in league

Sweet Home 49, Newport 43

The Huskies took control of the court in overtime Monday evening to build a 49-43 win over the Newport Cubs in boys basketball.

Newport led 11-9 after one quarter and 18-16 at halftime. The Huskies 32-28 after the third quarter and 41-41 at the end of the fourth.

“Newport is a very talented team,” Huskies Coach Kostanty Knurowski said. “This is the second time we’ve played them and it was just a battle.”

The Huskies have a few more seniors who have been tested a little more, Knurowski said, but for a majority of the game, Newport was every bit as good and better than the Huskies.

Knurowski said he was proud of the way his team found ways to get the win.

“I felt like we came out really slow,” he said. At one point in the second quarter, the Huskies were down 18-11. It took them six minutes to start scoring again.

“We were not very good offensively tonight, especially early in the game,” Knurowski said.

The Huskies got a few stops, Knurowski said. That change the tempo of the game, and the Huskies went on a 5-0 run at the end of the half. That run continued into the second half.

With seconds left in regulation, the Huskies were ahead 40-38. Newport fouled Drew Emmert, who hit the front end of a 1-1 trip to the foul line. Newport pulled down the rebound and tried for a three. The shot bounced away, but Newport recovered the board and blasted it across the court to Ryan Hoeft, who dropped in a game-tying three on the buzzer to extend the game into overtime.

Emmert scored a bucket to kick off overtime, and Newport answered for the last time, tying the game 43-43.

Brent Moyer passed the ball to Levi Marchbanks, who missed a baseline jumper. Gavin Kauffman grabbed the board and scored to take a 45-43 lead. Drawing two fouls to stop the clock, Kauffman scored four more points from the foul line to finish the game.

Willie Jones and Brock Cota did a good job holding Newport’s Stuart Bartoldus to five points on the game, Knurowski said. He has been scoring double digits for Newport.

“Hoeft hit some tough shots,” Knurowski said. “The one at the buzzer was a great shot to extend the game.”

The Huskies gave up 18 offensive boards on the game, he said, and that hurt them over the long haul.

Fortunately, he said, the Huskies had just enough to get through and get another win.

“The fans were great,” Knurowski said. “The parents section was extremely vocal and part of the game.”

The Huskies are on an eight-game winning streak and hold a 13-2 record, 5-0 in league. Their last lost came at the hands of Gladstone in December. As a result, last week, the team was ranked number one in the state in the coaches poll and the OregonLive poll. The Huskies remained there with league rival Central, 16-1, at second.

“It’s nice to be recognized right now, but it really doesn’t mean a whole lot in January,” Knurowski said. “We’re trying to stay focused this next month to be in a position to play some bonus basketball in playoffs.”

That distinction comes with a bit of a price too.

“I think we’re really understanding we’ve got quite a target on our backs,” Knurowski said. Teams step it up a notch when they’re gunning against the teams at the top of the rankings.

It’s first versus second Wednesday night at Central, he said. “I’m sure they’re going to be coming out looking for some revenge. It should be a battle for first place again. I have a hard time thinking it’s not going to be absolute war.”

That battle is for more than the polls. In league terms, a Husky win means the Huskies would have to lose two games as long as Central doesn’t lose any other for the Huskies to score the league championship.

Newport 11 7 10 13 2 €“ 43

Sweet Home 9 7 16 9 8 €“ 49


Newport €“ Ryan Hoeft, 16; Ross, 12; Bartoldus, 5; Brenner, 4; Dunmore, 2; Metcalf, 2; Holiday, 2.

Sweet Home €“ Gavin Kauffman, 16; Drew Emmert, 14; Brent Moyer, 8; Jerome Coleman, 5; Levi Marchbanks, 4; Willie Jones, 2; Brock Cota.

Sweet Home 65, Taft 35

The Huskies overcame a slow start to dominate the Taft Tigers 65-35 on the road on Jan. 19.

Taft held a 16-14 lead after the first quarter. The Huskies quickly built a 32-22 lead by halftime and continued to pour it on, leading 47-27 by the end of the third quarter.

“Once again, defense was kind of leading the charge for us,” Knurowski said.

He was happy to see the Huskies get the chance to dig into their bench in that game, he said. Once league play starts, the rotation gets a little shorter, and this was a chance for them to get some time in.

John Webb contributed all over the court and scored a three. Robert Rubidoux went in and played well, while Chris Webb was 4-4 from the line.

Dallas Morgan went out and drained a three, Knurowski said. Many of these guys are the Huskies’ future.

“It’s good to see them come out and show what they can do and get some experience in a league game like that,” Knurowski said.

Sweet Home 14 18 15 18 €“ 65

Taft 16 6 5 8 €“ 35


Sweet Home €“ Drew Emmert, 14; Kauffman, 14; Marchbanks, 11; Jones, 8; Coleman, 6; C. Webb, 4; J. Webb, 3; Morgan, 3; Moyer, 1; Rice, 1; Cota; Rubidoux; Winslow.

Taft €“ Lee, 12; B. Ehrenfelt, 6; Brock Martin, 6; Holmes, 4; Z. Ehrenfelt, 3; Wilkinson, 2; Lovejoy, 2; Floyd; Baker; Brent Martin; Flynn.