Husky boys lose to Newport, Banks, prepare for league play

Newport 58

Sweet Home 46

“We were down two with 3:53 left after playing a cat and mouse game,” Husky boys basketball Coach Mark Risen said, but fourth-ranked Newport held onto its lead to win 58-46 on Jan. 17 at Sweet Home.

It was a good game, Coach Risen said. The Huskies played extremely well, controlling the tempo and pace of the game.

“We had an answer for everything they did,” Coach Risen said. “Down the stretch, we had some pivotal turnovers they converted.”

The Huskies trailed 16-14 after the first quarter then 33-29 at halftime. Newport led 42-37 after the third quarter and finished 16-9 in the fourth quarter.

Anthony Mink returned to the Husky lineup to lead scoring with 18 points. Tim Matuszak added eight; Matt Slauson, seven; Ricky Howe, five; Tyler Emmert, four; and Brian Seward, four.

Yada and Palmer led Newport with 15 points each.

Banks 61

Sweet Home 58

Husky performance turned around on Friday night when they lost 61-58 at Banks.

“We played very poorly,” Coach Risen said. “We added it up, and that’s the first time we’ve taken a step backward since Christmas break.

“We had a two-and–half-hour bus ride, and we looked like we were still riding the bus they way we played,” Coach Risen said. The team looked flat and lethargic.

Up 29-28 at halftime, the Huskies showed signs of life in the third quarter running up an eight-point lead.

“Instead of putting them away, we kind of slipped in our trance again,” Coach Risen said. In that daze, the Huskies spent their lead on a foul on a three-point shot, another three-point play for Banks and critical turnovers.

Howe led the Huskies with 19 points. Matuszak scored 13; Mink, 12; Ravi Patel, eight; Emmert, two; Slauson, two; and Seth Graves, two.

Leading scoring for Banks were Liheam with 23 and Blok with 18.

The Huskies carry a 4-9 record into league play Friday night at Molalla.

“If we can shake off Friday night and get back to playing like Jan. 2 to Jan. 17, I think we’ve got a chance to make a run,” Coach Risen said. His main concern is how long any strong showings from the team will hold out.

“The league looks pretty balanced top to bottom,” Coach Risen said. “Most people would give Stayton the edge, but it could be anyone on any given night. To me this is the most balanced I’ve seen it.”

All other teams have a key duo or trio of seniors, Coach Risen said. Sweet Home is definitely the youngest in the league, but over the course of the season, they’ve improved significantly and played one of the toughest pre-season schedules.

Coach Risen said he is “cautiously optimistic. We definitely have some skeletons in our closet we’ve got to keep the door shut on.”

If the Huskies let those bad habits out, they’re going to struggle, he said. What the Huskies face are big seniors who handle majorities of their teams’ offense.

Molalla has guard Dan Kirkham at 6’3″ and post Josh Banks at 6’5″ averaging 35 points a night and handling 80 percent of Molalla’s offense.

Stayton has 6’5″ wing Ian Dayton and 6’3″ post Nick Hartle, who combined, handle about 60 percent of that team’s offense.

Cascade has a three-point shooter in Shawn Evans at wing with a strong 6’5″ post in Drew Richmond.

Sisters will bring 6’0″ guard Zack Sweeney and 6’4″ guard Juwan Davis.

North Marion will field 6’3″ wing Steve Miller, a three-point shooter and 6’5″ Brian Kahle at center. Those two handle about 70 percent of North Marion’s offense.

“We look at teams across the league, obviously we’re the youngest and smallest,” Coach Risen said. “We’re going to have to go out and play with a chip on our shoulders. We love the idea of being the underdog.

“If we can play to our potential and keep ourselves in control, we’ll keep ourselves in the driver’s seat.”