Huskies beat Cascade, then lose in overtime at Stayton

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The Husky boys’ basketball team started its season on a high note, beating Cascade 44-33 at home on Nov. 28.

This particular team has not had much success against Cascade, Coach Tim Little said. It lost as freshmen and again as junior varsity, so winning that game left the team feeling good.

“There was definitely a buzz Tuesday night,” Little said. “I haven’t felt that for awhile.”

The Huskies traveled to Stayton Thursday and nearly broke a long losing streak to the Eagles. The Huskies have not won a game in Stayton since 1999 when Sweet Home finished second in the state tournament.

Stayton edged out the Huskies 52-48 in overtime.

“It was an excellent performance for us,” Little said. “We were actually down 10 in the third and came back.”

With three seconds left on the game, a hot-shooting Colton Emmert had a look from behind the three-point line but his shot to win didn’t fall, leaving the game tied and headed to overtime.

Emmert scored 23 points in the game, and 15 of those were in the fourth quarter and overtime, Little said.

“We jumped up four on them,” Little said. “They came and tied it up again and took a three-point lead. We couldn’t catch them.”

Stayton is the six-time Capital Conference champion, he noted. It is picked to win again this year and is ranked fourth in the state.

The tired Huskies team went back into the trenches Friday and Saturday in a tournament at Yamhill-Carlton. There, they met Cascade again and lost 51-43. LaSalle ended the Huskies’ run in the tournament with a 55-39 win.

“For a home opener, we kind of made a stand defensively,” Little said of the first meeting with Cascade. The Huskies had been focused on defensive fundamentals in practice leading up to the season, and it definitely paid off.

The Huskies put up a solid defense against Stayton too, he said, but by Friday and Saturday they were tired. Those fundamentals fell away.

At the same time, Cascade “definitely came out wanting to avenge their loss on Tuesday,” Little said. “We definitely let them. We were very tired after an overtime at Stayton where we laid it all on the floor.”

Even with a 1-3 start in five days, Little is not disappointed, but “we’re not ecstatic,” he said.

“We do know the things we need to fix and things we can control. The kids are willing to fix things.”

They are motivated and have no issues taking the constructive criticism needed to do it, he said.

In the opening game of the season, Little said, Kyle Carter “had a great opening game his first varsity game.”

Carter scored 10 points in the second quarter to help keep the Huskies on top. When Cascade started fouling to stop the clock, he made the Cougars pay for it by sinking four free throws. He scored 16 points on the game.

“Kyle, for his first game, showed a lot of poise and didn’t get rattled,” Little said, although his performance didn’t hold up in the next three games.

Ricky Worley, in one of his first major varsity appearances, scored nine and pulled down 11 rebounds against Cascade. Gabe Kauffman scored 11.

Brandon Weist was the “only person with a lot of varsity experience,” Little said. He scored three points in the game, but he also had five steals.

Ryan Graville also scored three, Emmert two, and Jon Ball two. Ray Lingenfelter, Nathan Whitfield and Josh Riggs played but did not score.

Against Stayton, Kauffman added 11, Weist six, Worley four, Whitfield three and Carter one. Ball, Nick Stockton, Riggs and Graville played but did not score.

In the second game against Cascade, Kauffman led the Husky scoring with 14 points.

Weist added nine, Emmert seven, Worley five, Riggs three, Dustin Hay two, and Carter two. Lingenfelter, Stockton, Graville, Ball, Brandon Nunn and Xiang Li played but did not score.

Against LaSalle, Weist led scoring with 13 points. Kauffman and Emmert added seven each, Carter six, Worley four, and Graville two.

Riggs, Ball, Whitfield and Lingenfelter played but did not score.

The Huskies travel to Pleasant Hill, which is ranked in the top 10 in the state, on Friday.

The freshmen defeated Cascade and Stayton last week. The junior varsity lost close games to Cascade and Stayton.