Boys win league opener against Molalla 52-44, stopped by Stayton

The Husky boys basketball team won its league opener on the road against Molalla 52-44 on Jan. 17 but lost at home to Stayton 51-34 on Jan. 20.

Sweet Home 52, Molalla 44

The Huskies trailed 9-8 after the first quarter against Molalla and then tied the game 22-22 at halftime.

“We were playing fairly well,” Coach Tim Little said. “We went in with a goal to get a win on the road. Molalla is definitely a very improved basketball team. They’re very athletic.”

Cody Shipp and Brandon Weist both played well defensively to hold Molalla to six points in the third and give the Huskies a chance to go up 32-28.

The Huskies built on their lead through the rest of the half and never gave up the lead.

Shipp “had a goood game shooting,” Little said. “Their guard matched up against him wasn’t quick enough to stop him, so we took advantage of that.”

Shipp led Husky scoring with 20 points.

Weist was solid on both sides of the ball, with three boards, an assist and no turnovers. He scored 11.

Gabe Kauffman gave the team a boost with 10 rebounds, including six offensive boards, giving “us a big spark in the second half,” Little said.

Also scoring were Brandon Smith with nine points; Charlie Fitzsimons, six; and Kauffman, six.

For Molalla, Glynn led scoring with 11 points; Spanfellner, nine; Kutsen, eight; and Haqq, eight.

Total, the Huskies turned the ball over only six times, their best for the year.

Stayton 51, Sweet Home 34

The Huskies didn’t hold up through the week, turning the ball over 22 times against Stayton, mostly in the second and third quarters.

Stayton jumped out to a 14-7 lead in the first quarter and a 27-16 point lead at halftime. Stayton led 41-23 at the end of the third quarter.

Shipp led scoring with eight points. Weist had seven; Kauffman, six; Smith, four; Ryan Elliott, four; Colton Emmert, three; and Adam Matuszak, two.

Tyler Ferguson led Stayton with 13 points. Steven Dark added 12.

Of 38 possessions in the first half, Little said, the Huskies had 34 possessions where they passed once or less before shooting or turning the ball over.

“We had two starters sitting out for disciplinary actions, and we were just a little bit off,” Little said. “Stayton came in and played like they wanted it more.”

Stayton was more physical, going to the floor after the ball more and dictating the game, Little said. “And we didn’t step up. We played really like hurried and unfundamental. Against a good team like Stayton, they take advantage of it. You can’t afford to play rat ball. You have to play very fundamental and disciplined, which we weren’t Friday night.

“They’re not a better team than we are, but they just really did dictate what we did that whole night.

“Obviously, Friday night I wish would have gone a lot different. We invested a lot of time preparing for that game. We knew Stayton and Molalla were going to be a challenge, and we were happy to get the win on the road.”

The conference is “very, very strong” this year, Little said. He predicted that Capitol Conference teams in the playoffs won’t be making it with 9-1 or 8-2 records.

“Everybody is going to be beating up on each other,” Little said.

The Huskies next face Cascade, 0-2, on the road Friday night.