Husky boys slip by Taft on the road in hoops

The Husky boys basketball team fended off a huge attack by a single Taft player to edge out the Tigers 45-42 on Jan. 9 on the road.

“We played well up at Taft,” Coach Tim Little said. “It was tough on the road, a long road trip; but we played pretty well.”

The Huskies “had a great defense first quarter,” Little said. They built a 13-4 lead going into the second when Taft’s Kevin Hamlin caught fire.

Hamlin scored 16 of Taft’s 20 points in the second quarter, and he scored 28 for the game.

“Their offense in that quarter was just giving him the ball and letting him shoot,” Little said. “We were defending him. It’s just everything he shot went in.”

He was shooting “leaners” and “floaters,” Little said. “Everything dropped in.”

Hamlin went 10-13 from the field and 8-8 from the foul line.

“We were throwing everything we had at him, trying to double,” Little said.

At the end of the half, the Huskies trailed by two points, 24-22.

In the third quarter, “we came out, and I just made a very small change to the defense, to get the ball out of his hands,” Little said. He was really Taft’s only scoring player. One other scored six, and two others scored four.

The Huskies double-teamed Hamlin on in-bounds plays, he said, and “it disrupted what they were trying to do a bit.”

Taft wasn’t running a continuous offense, Little said. Taft just gave the ball to him, and the Huskies got it under control in the third quarter. The Huskies took a 36-30 lead by the end of the quarter.

Gabe Kauffman led Husky scoring with 22. Brandon Weist added 14; Ricky Worley, five; and Colton Emmert and Ryan Graville, two each. Ray Lingenfelter, Dustin Hay, Josh Riggs, Jon Ball and Nathan Whitfield played but did not score.

The Huskies will play Central next at home on Friday.

“Central’s got a big 6-7 kid,” Little said. “He’s solid, probably one of the better post players in the state.”

He can shoot from the outside as well, Little said, and he said the Huskies are going to key in on him defensively.

Central also has decent guards with one “very good shooter outside,” Little said. The Panthers are young, similar to the Huskies, and were tied with the Huskies for first in league going into Tuesday’s games.

ValCo League standings

as of Jan. 15

Central 2-0

Sweet Home 2-0

Philomath 2-1

Newport 1-2

Taft 0-3