Boys lose to Newport, down Banks

Newport 56, Sweet Home 45

The Huskies were within striking distance at the end of their contest at Newport, but they couldn’t quite close the gap, losing 56-45.

“Newport’s a good team this year,” Coach Tim Little said. “They’ve got one really solid player. He ended up with 25 points against us.”

Newport beat Stayton at Stayton and also beat Cascade, Little said. “They’re definitely a good team. We played fairly well, but we were just ice cold the whole game.”

The team shot just 34 percent from the field, Little said. Brandon Weist led scoring with 12 points. Cody Shipp and Brandon Smith added eight points each.

The Huskies trailed 31-21 at halftime, Little said. They battled back to within five with just 1:30 left in the game, but they couldn’t hang on for the win.

Sweet Home 49, Banks 44

The Huskies topped Banks 49-44 at home on Friday after a rough start in which Banks built a 15-8 lead in the first quarter.

The Huskies were ice cold again Little said. They had one field goal in the quarter. Everything else came at the free-throw line.

But Sweet home got hot defensively in the second quarter to close the gap to 20-19.

“We did it defensively,” Little said. “We got some stops defensively, which led to our transition game.”

That raised the Huskies’ confidence and helped them battle through the second half, the coach said.

At halftime, the team talked about more ball pressure on Banks’ guards, Little said. The Huskies had a real advantage with their speed.

The Huskies went on an 8-2 run early in the third to take a decent lead. They built that lead to the 10-12 range heading into the fourth.

“They made another run at us,” Little said. “Even though things weren’t clicking for us real well, the kids didn’t panic.”

Shots weren’t falling, and a couple of calls went against the Huskies, Little said, but the Huskies “battled to the win.”

The win wasn’t pretty, but “it was definitely a good way to end preseason,” Little said.

Weist led scoring with 17 points. Anthony Hoffman added 12, and Cody Shipp added eight.

Shipp “played much better in the second half,” Little said, and he helped in many other ways than scoring. “It’s his passing, his defense.”

The Huskies are 6-8 heading into league play this week, with Molalla scheduled on the road Tuesday and Stayton at home at 7 p.m. on Friday.