The New Era - All about Sweet Home since 1929

Hoops: Boys take Sisters to wire in 43-38 loss


February 7, 2017

COLTON SMITH catches a high cross-court pass against Sisters.

Still looking for their first win in league this season in boys basketball, the Huskies almost had it Friday night at home against Sisters, one of the top teams in the state.

Sweet Home trailed by one with 57 seconds left on the clock, but it saw a couple of shots go in and out while the Outlaws connected a field goal and two free throws to end the game 43-38.

Sisters, sixth in Oregon Student Activities Association rankings, dominated the Huskies, ranked 35th, last time they met, winning 50-25.

Sweet Home gave Sisters a hard time out of the gate, quickly jumping to a 5-0 lead. The Outlaws recovered quickly and built a 16-9 lead by the end of the quarter. Neither team made ground in the second quarter, and Sisters led 22-15 at halftime.

The Huskies closed that gap in the third quarter, trailing just 30-27 at the end of the quarter.

“That was a good game, so close,” said Coach Drew Emmert.

Keanu Aiona, a guard, said he was down initially after the game, but his spirits lifted as he realized how well his team had performed that night.

“That was the best game we played all year,” Aiona said. “They’re (the Outlaws) good. It gave all the younger guys confidence.”

Emmert credited improvements on defense with keeping the game in reach.

The Huskies kept all-league guard Keegan Greaney, guarded by Daniel Virtue, from scoring until he put four free throws through the net in the fourth quarter, Emmert said.

Sophomores Jake Swanson and Hayden Nichol did a good job against 6-foot 8-inch junior post Ty Horner, Emmert said. Horner still led the Outlaws with 17 points.

The Husky defense was huge, Aiona said, noting that his tallest player is 6-3. His team rotated subs often and kept the defense refreshed.

“And we just played insane defense.”

Outlaw wing Jack Berg scored only four on the game after hitting five threes the last time the Huskies saw Sisters, Aiona said.

“Everyone who played contributed, especially on the defensive side,” Emmert said.

Aiona and Virtue led offensively, scoring 13 and 14 respectively.

Facing a 2-3 zone with a 6-foot 8-inch post, the Huskies still struggled with low shooting percentages, Emmert said. The Huskies trapped most of the game and came up with a number of seven steals to help them stay in the game.

“We shot like 13 more shots than they did,” Emmert said, and that helped keep the game in striking distance.

Sweet Home shot 44 percent from the two-point zone and 3-13 from behind the three point line – by Aiona, Virtue and Justin Carpenter – while Sisters connected 74 percent of its two-point field goals. The Outlaws missed all four of their three-point attempts.

“It was a fun atmosphere,” Emmert siad. “A lot of people came to see us. If we play with that energy through the next four games, we should have a shot to win.”

“If we play against (Junction City) like we did Sisters, it shouldn’t be that tough,” Aiona said.

The Huskies lost to Junction city 53-46 earlier in the season. They were scheduled to play at Junction City Tuesday evening. The Huskies will host Cottage Grove Friday at 7:15 p.m.

“We’ve just got to give ourselves a chance at the end,” Aiona said, the same kind of chance they gave themselves against Sisters.

Cottage Grove beat Sisters 40-39 and the Huskies 68-50 in the first round of Sky-Em games.

The Huskies will host Elmira next Tuesday at 7:15 p.m.

The two junior varsity teams also lost their games against Sisters by five points.

KAYLA MILLER takes a shot against Sisters Friday evening. The high school girls varsity lost the game 29-22 after rallying from a 13-2 halftime score. The girls next host Cottage Grove at 5:45 p.m. Friday and then Elmira at 5:45 p.m. Tuesday.

Sisters 16 6 8 13 – 43

Sweet Home 9 6 12 11 – 38

Sisters scoring: Ty Horner 17, Tanner Head 9, Tyler Head 4, Berg 4, Greaney 4, Saba 4, Larson 4, Richards 1,

Sweet Home scoring: Daniel Virtue 14, Keanu Aiona 13, Justin Carpenter 5, Keegan Holly 4, Jake Swanson 2, Hayden Nichol, Colton Smith, Zack Zanona, Nate Virtue.


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