Huskies beat Seaside to advance in basketball playoffs

Sean C. Morgan

Of The New Era

The Huskies narrowly held off the Seaside Seagulls Wednesday night , 50-47, to advance to the second round of state basketball playoffs.

Third seed in the Val-Co, the boys traveled to Seaside to face the second seed in the Cowapa league.

Seaside started building a decisive lead about halfway through the first quarter of action when Husky shooting seemed to go a little cold. Heading into the second quarter, the Huskies trailed 19-12.

Jared Olsen got things going in the second quarter with back-to-back buckets. Gabe Kauffman scored following a double dribbling call against the Seagulls to get within a point, 19-18, two minutes into the quarter. With three minutes left, Colton Emmert sank a short jumper to go ahead 21-20.

Trading baskets with Seaside, the Huskies led 23-22 at halftime. The Huskies led 39-36 at the end of the third quarter.

The Huskies two- to four-point lead through the end of the game when the Seagulls managed to get within a point with just seconds left.

Emmert scored from the foul line with 14 seconds left, clinching the win when Seaside’s three attempt failed.

Kauffman and Ryan Graville led Husky scoring with 14 points each.

“I was worried they were going to hit a last-second shot to tie it up,” Coach Tim Little said. “There at the end, we made sure we contested everything they shot.

“I think we did a lot better job taking care of the ball and shooting well from the free throw line to make sure we’d win.

“We’re happy for the road win and excited about Saturday.”

The Huskies will travel to Hidden Valley High School in Murphy, south of Grants Pass, on Saturday. The game starts at 7 p.m.

The fifth-ranked Mustangs (27-4, 13-2) have played stifling defense this year en route to its third Skyline conference championship in four years.

Hidden Valley has been dominant on its home court since a playoff loss to Marist four years ago. It won the 2006 4A title with a 27-1 record.

The only team both Sweet Home and the Mustangs have played this season is Molalla, which Hidden Valley beat 47-34 at home on Dec. 20. The Huskies defeated Molalla 57-51 on the road on Dec. 4.

The winner of Saturday’s game advances to the state quarterfinals at Oregon State University’s Gill Coliseum in Corvallis March 12-14.