Boys’ slow hoops start against Central costs them in the end

The Husky boys basketball team took awhile to get started Friday night against Central and then came up shy at the end against the visitors.

Central defeated the Huskies 62-53.

“Right off the bat, the first three possessions, we gave up an o-board,” Coach Tim Little said, and the Huskies were down 6-0. “It’s just like we dug ourselves a hole before the game even started.”

The Huskies battled back to take a 13-12 lead at the end of the quarter, and then Central broke away.

“They scored 20 points,” Little said. “That’s more points than we want to give up in a half.”

The Huskies had foul trouble in the second, and Brandon Weist and Nathan Whitfield were benched, Little said. With that, the team lost some experience and toughness. The Panthers came up with more offensive boards and went to the foul line for 12 shots. The Huskies had 12 shots on the whole game.

By halftime, the Huskies were down 32-22.Little talked with them about blocking out and denying passes while staying out of foul trouble during halftime.

Ricky Worley started things off for the Huskies in the third quarter with a three. Ryan Graville and Gabe Kauffman added two more threes each on the second half along with another from Colton Emmert.

“They were key times,” Little said. The score went from an 11-point game to five points and by the end of the third, the Huskies had managed to get within three of Central, but the Panthers responded and had a 44-34 lead at the end of the third.

The Huskies got within four points with 1:30 left on the clock and lost by nine at the free-throw line as they stopped the clock looking for opportunities.

“We just beat ourselves with some mistakes and unforced errors,” Little said. Central took advantage of those problems, but after looking at tape of the game, Little is certain the Huskies just beat themselves.

Emmert led Husky scoring with 16 points. Weist added 12; Kauffman, 10; Graville, six; Jon Ball, six; and Worley, three. Ray Lingenfelter, Josh Riggs and Whitfield played but did not score. Central’s top scorers finished with 19 and 16.

Newport slipped by the Huskies on Jan. 16 in Sweet Home with a 41-39 win.

The Newport game was totally different, Little said. Newport slowed the game down and ran a 3-2 zone, which had the Huskies confused on how to attack. That confusion led to an 8-32 performance from the field.

That defense worked that night, Little said, but this team will be ready for it in the future.

The Huskies led 9-6 at the end of the first quarter and 22-17 at halftime. Newport began closing on the Huskies in the second half but still trailed 31-29 at the end of the third.

Kauffman and Weist led Husky scoring with 10 points each. Worley added eight; Ball, four; Emmert, four; and Graville, three. Whitfield and Lingenfelter played but did not score.

The Huskies will host Taft on Friday and Newport on Jan. 31 and travel to Central on Feb. 2.