The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Boys wrap up hoops with win, narrowly miss shot at leader


February 23, 2016

TYLER PLEBUCH, center, and Justin Town battle Cottage Grove’s Blake Sentman for a rebound. The Huskies wear pink in support of the pink ribbon breast cancer awarness campaign.

In a pair of season-ending home games, Sweet Home beat Elmira 69-55 on Feb. 16 but lost a lead and then the game to the league champion, Cottage Grove, 50-42, Friday night in boys basketball.

“They were playing for a berth to go to state,” said Coach Drew Emmert. “We kind of knew we weren’t.”

Following the week’s games, Sweet Home ended the season tied with Elmira and Sutherlin for fourth place with a 3-7 record in league. Sisters and Junction City were tied for second with a 6-4 record and play a tiebreaker this week in Sweet Home, while Cottage Grove finished first with a 9-1 record, its only loss in league an upset by Elmira.

Elmira dominated the game out of the gate, taking an 11-0 lead, and then the Huskies went on a 19-0 run, leading 15-11 at the end of the first quarter and carrying brutal momentum into the rest of the game and leading 38-22 at halftime.

The Huskies led 55-27 at the end of the third quarter.

In one stretch, the Huskies outscored Elmira 38-5, Emmert said. Elmira came back a little in the fourth quarter.

Elmira had four technical fouls in the game, and the coach was ejected.

“We just all around played well,” Emmert said. “We just shot really well.”

The Huskies were a little slow starting up, but then they presented a tough defense, he said. Elmira tried to press the Huskies, but the Huskies didn’t crumble.

Friday night at home, against fourth-ranked Cottage Grove, “we played tough defense against a team that’s one of the best scoring teams in the state,” Emmert said.

Cottage Grove led 12-9 after the first quarter, and the game was tied 21-21 at halftime. The Huskies led 36-33 at the end of the third quarter.

The Huskies led by four to six early in the fourth before Cottage Grove pulled away at the foul line.

“They hit the free throws down the stretch,” Emmert said.

“We ended the season really well compared to how we started,” Emmert said. The Huskies won just one of their first 14 games. They won five of their last nine games, ending with a 6-17 record overall. “We ended playing better than we started. Obviously, I would have liked to win more, but it was good. Every game, we got better.”

Looking forward, “I think next year will be a good year for us,” Emmert said. His team will work hard in the off season, and “hopefully, we can get there. We ended strong. That should help us going into next year.”

The Huskies will return two top shooters, Keanu Aiona and Daniel Virtue, he said. The team will graduate six seniors, including starters Justin Tow and Tyler Plebuch.

Elmira 11 11 15 18 – 55

Sweet Home 15 23 17 14 – 69

Elmira scoring: Kellen Smith 22, A. Smith 18, Herrera 5, Estrella 4, Bechtel 2, Bothel 2, Winters 1, Wilson, Laing, Orme, White, Bender, Cook, Kaleikau.

Sweet Home scoring: Keanu Aiona 16, Justin Carpenter 16, Daniel Virtue 12, Justin tow 6, Jake Bangot 6, Tyler Plebuch 5, Jesus Patricio 3, Nick Rodgers 3, Logan Kline 3, Keegan Holly, Nick Marler,

Cottage Grove 12 9 11 17 – 50

Sweet Home 9 12 36 6 – 42

Cottage Grove scoring: Chance Hopkins 18, Parent 16, Settman 8, Porter 4, Tucker 4, Murphy.

Sweet Home scoring: Virtue 12, Aiona 11, Plebuch 7, Carpenter 5, Tow 4, Kline 3, Holly, Patricio, Marler, Rodgers, Greg Staten, Bangot.


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