Sweet Home beats top-ranked Elmira 71-65

Sweet Home 71, Elmira 65

Four Huskies turned in double-digit performances on Dec. 19 to defeat top-ranked Elmira 71-65 in overtime on the road in boys basketball.

Going into the game, Elmira was ranked No. 1 in the statewide coaches’ poll. Sweet Home was ranked seventh. The Falcons are now ranked sixth, and Sweet Home remains at seventh.

“They came out and jumped out a bit,” said Coach Kostanty Knurowski. “We stormed back in the first quarter.”

By the end of the first period, the Huskies led 17-15.

“We held the lead most of the game,” Knurowski said. By halftime, Sweet Home led 30-25 lead and after three quarters, 45-41.

The fourth quarter went back and forth, and the Falcons managed to put up their first lead of the second half at the end game.

Down by one with a minute and a half left, Elmira stole the ball and missed a dunk attempt. Drew Emmert blocked a follow-up shot, and Willie Jones grabbed the loose ball.

Elmira fouled him, but he missed the free throws. The Falcons grabbed the rebound and scored to go up by one with just 30 seconds left on the clock.

The Huskies ran a play, but Elmira stopped Brent Moyer and put him on the foul line. He made both of his free throws to give the Huskies the lead.

The Huskies stole the ball on the Falcons’ next possession, but the officials called a foul on Gavin Kauffman, who fouled out, prior to the steal with 10 seconds left. Elmira hit the first free throw.

The Huskies grabbed the board on the second free throw. Emmert missed a shot to get ahead, sending the game into overtime with the teams tied 61-61.

“We took the lead early in overtime and held it,” Knurowski said. “We played fairly well in overtime. We shot nine free throws in overtime and made six of them.”

The Huskies scored their first two possessions to build a four- and five-point lead, Knurowski said, and the Huskies stayed in a zone press the rest of the way.

“It was good for us to come back, especially after the loss to Gladstone,” Knurowski said. Gladstone played well, but the Huskies were disappointed they lost that game, held at home the night before their trip to Elmira.

The Huskies lost 58-56 after missing on a chance to win or send the game to overtime with 1.28 seconds on the clock.

Knurowski was pleased to see the Huskies step up even against some adversity at Elmira, and “with four guys in double digits, it was nice to see everyone contribute.”

Sweet Home, now 7-2, faces tough competition through its next three games.

The Huskies start at Cascade, ranked eighth, on Jan. 5. Then they open league play with fifth-ranked Newport at home on Jan. 8 and now top-ranked Central on the road on Jan. 12.

They’ve been preparing for Cascade’s zone, Knurowski said, but “right now we’re trying to get all our stuff ready for league.”

The Huskies have been shorthanded this season, he said, so it was nice to have everyone together and getting better over Christmas break.

Sweet Home 17 30 45 61 71

Elmira 15 25 41 61 65

Sweet Home: Willie Jones 20, Drew Emmert 19, Gavin Kauffman 16, Brent Moyer 10, Levi Marchbanks 5, John Webb 1,Brock Cota, Robert Rubidoux, Jerome Coleman.

Elmira: Trevor Daniels 20, Beebe 19, Shields 13, D. Lay 7, Bryant 3, Breding 3, M. Lay.

Sweet Home 75, Lebanon 46

The Huskies turned in a dominating performance on the road on Dec. 21, beating Lebanon 75-46.

Lebanon is usually tough as the two teams ramp up their geographic rivalry, Knurowski said. This time, the Huskies jumped way out ahead of the Warriors and held the lead.

Eleven of 13 Huskies scored in the game, Knurowski said.

“It was good to see everybody come in and contribute, especially after an emotional and exciting win over Elmira, to come out and get a victory against a dangerous team like Lebanon.”

The Huskies led 22-8 after a quarter and 39-19 at halftime. They expanded that lead to 50-26 by the end of the third period.

Sweet Home 22 39 50 75

Lebanon 8 19 26 46

Sweet Home: Gavin Kauffman 14, Emmert 13, Marchbanks 12, Moyer 9, J. Webb 8, Jones 7, Cota 3, Rubidoux 3, Coleman 3, Kyle Winslow 2, Justin Rice 1, Chris Webb.

Lebanon: Kyler Garcia 19, Bertram 9, Thompson 6, Pruett 5, Albion 3, Marshall 2, Coleman 2, Avants, Alley, Hoover, Patel, Olson.