Foul shots make difference in boys basketball contests

Free throws made a difference in both games played by the Husky boys basketball team last week.

In the first game, against Estacada at Cascade on Dec. 28, the Huskies lost 57-54 after blowing eight of 11 foul shots in the fourth quarter. In the second, at Valley Catholic on Thursday, the Huskies shot 13-16 from the foul line squeaking by with a 49-47 win.

The Huskies were at Cascade for a tournament, but they had too many games scheduled. The tournament placed them in the losers’ bracket for a game against Estacada. Teams are limited to 23 games per season.

“It was back and forth basically the whole game,” Coach Tim Little said.

Estacada led 14-9 after the first quarter and 31-25 at halftime. Estacada led 43-35 at the end of the third. Garrett Kauffman led Husky scoring with 22 points. Andy Worley added eight; Alex Ritzman, six; Charlie Fitzsimons and Ravi Patel, five each; and Cody Shipp and Aaron Forquer, four each.

Elliott led Estacada scoring with 22. Nicholson added 21.

Two days later, the Huskies made their free throws and slipped by Valley Catholic after a close contest.

“We came out and jumped on them first,” Coach Little said.

But Valley Catholic kept nipping at Husky heels.

The Huskies led 15-12 after the first quarter but were tied 24-24 at halftime.

“We went cold and made some poor decisions offensively,” Coach Little said of the third quarter. The Huskies turned the ball over quite a bit in the third quarter.

They led just 35-33 in the third quarter. The Huskies were up by five at the buzzer, but Valley Catholic launched a three to close the gap to two points.

“We played our best defense this year,” Coach Little said. Ritzman stepped up his game to lead Husky scoring with 12 points and 15 rebounds, 10 of which were offensive boards, “which helped a ton.”

Ryan Elliott and Cody Shipp sank key free throws in the last minute of the game to ensure the Husky win.

Adding to the Husky score were Kauffman with nine; Forquer, nine; Patel, seven; Worley, six; Shipp, four; and Elliott, two.

Kennedy led Valley Catholic with 14. Barckman added 11.

The Huskies hold a 6-4 record and next face Toledo at home Friday night.