Huskies 1-2 at JC Tourney

The Husky boys basketball team lost two of three games at the annual Junction City Tournament held Dec. 19-21.

They opened the tournament with a 77-36 loss to Creswell.

“I thought we played the best six minutes of the season the first six minutes of that game,” Coach Mark Risen said. The Huskies played evenly against the team that defeated them to open the season. They led 15-13 after 6:17.

“Then we rotated some people in,” Coach Risen said. “They (Creswell) got a little momentum, and the momentum just snowballed on us.”

From there on out, Creswell lit up wave after wave of lopsided runs.

“We blinked, and we were down 20,” Coach Risen said. “That’s what a good team’s going to do to you. You’ve got to play consistently.”

The Huskies trailed 13-12 after the first quarter and 34-21 at halftime. At the end of three, they trailed 56-29.

Anthony Mink led Husky scoring with 10 points. Tim Matuszak added nine; Matt Slauson, five; Ricky Howe and Donny Cliver, four; and Brian Seward and Mike Severns, two.

The Huskies followed up with a 67-49 win over Hugh Boyd of Richmond, British Columbia.

The Huskies spotted Hugh Boyd 10 points to start the game.

“We answered that with a 25-3 run,” Coach Risen said. “We just tightened up the ‘D’ and kept working through the offense. The kids’ shot selection was really good.”

The Huskies had a couple of moments where they could have put Hugh Boyd away, but they didn’t, Coach Risen said. Up 12 in the second quarter, the Huskies could have pushed an 18- or 19-point lead to go into halftime. Instead, they led by seven.

The Huskies came out in the third and let Hugh Boyd hang around about 10 points behind, Coach Risen said. The Huskies finished Hugh Boyd off with about five minutes left in the game.

Hugh Boyd trailed by about seven before the Huskies started a 10-2 run to end the game.

The Huskies led 15-10 by the end of the first quarter. they led 24-17 at halftime. They widened the lead to 43-30 by the end of the third quarter.

Howe led Husky scoring with 31 points. Cliver added 11; Tyler Emmert, nine; Matuszak, four; Mink and Seward, three; and Seth Graves, Severns and Ryan Garrett, two.

The Huskies prepared to face Sutherlin in the consolation championship next game, Coach Risen said, but the tournament directors changed the opponent the night before the game to avoid pairing the four Sky-Em teams in the tournament. The Huskies were unaware of the change until they arrived to play.

The Huskies defeated Cottage Grove earlier this season, but Cottage Grove played well with a different lineup and better defense, Coach Risen said. Cottage Grove played more cohesively.

Cottage Grove led 15-6 after the first quarter and 29-20 at halftime. They led 43-27 after three quarters.

Mink led the Huskies with 24 points. Matuszak and Howe added four each; Emmert, Seward, Cliver and Slauson, two; and Graves, one.

Overall, “we’re taking care of the ball a lot better,” Coach Risen said. “Our turnovers are down from earlier in the season. We’re playing a little more tentatively.”

The team needs to be more aggressive at both ends of the floor, Coach risen said. “We continue to rebound well. For such as small team, it’s a real tribute to our kids and their effort.”

The team is still feeling the late start to the season, Coach Risen said. The Huskies haven’t created habits in their playing. Their moves are still part of a thought process, delaying the plays.

“We need to get back in the gym and get some habits hardened up and develop an identity for ourselves,” Coach Risen said.

Coming up Friday, the Huskies face former conference rivals, the Central Panthers, fourth-ranked in the state.

Star Jordan Pratt hasn’t played yet this season, Coach Risen said. He’s nursing a football injury, but he could be back by the time the Huskies see them.

Central runs a 2-2-1 press with a 2-3 zone and “man” and a “flex” offense, Coach Risen said. He doesn’t see Central running a “high-low” offense without a post presence.

Central was the state runnerup last year, Coach Risen said. The team has two good players, Pratt and Micahel Brazil, with a winning junior varsity squad moving up from last year.

The Huskies follow up with games against second-ranked Philomath and sixth-ranked Newport.

They hold a 3-5 record.