For the second consecutive game CCHS shoots the ball poorly

by: LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Pit Lee goes up for a shot in a game earlier this year. Lee scored three points on Tuesday in the Cowboys’ loss to The Dalles Wahtonka.

It’s hard to win basketball games when you don’t make shots.
   The Crook County High School boys basketball team is struggling mightily to score points right now. The team could only manage 15 first-half points Tuesday night as they fell 51-34 to The Dalles Wahtonka Eagle-Indians.
   “For the second game in a row we didn’t shoot the ball very well,” said Crook County head coach Jeff Lowenbach. “Defensively we were close. We had a couple stretches where we made some turnovers that led to easy baskets. Other than that, our defense was pretty solid.”
   Despite the cold shooting, the Cowboys trailed just 8-4 at the end of the first period. However, The Dalles Wahtonka turned up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and Crook County was unable to respond.
   The Eagle-Indians outscored the Cowboys 21-11 in the quarter as they took control of the contest. Crook County played better in the second half, but it was not nearly enough to overcome the early deficit. By the end of the third quarter, the Cowboys trailed 43-27. The Dalles Wahtonka outscored Crook County 12-7 in the final period to ensure the easy victory.
   “They are a quality team,” Lowenbach said. “And against a quality team, you need to take care of the ball and make shots and we didn’t do that tonight.”
   The Dalles Wahtonka’s Grayson Byers led all players in scoring with 12. Joining Byers in double figures were Zach Nerdin with 11, and Steven Bartells with 10.
   Preston Washechek was the lone Cowboy in double figures with 11 while Jacob Mahurin finished with nine.
   The Cowboys have been battling injuries and illness recently and Lowenbach said that might be contributing to the offensive struggles.
   “Right now it’s a perfect storm,” he said. “We have people hurt and people that are sick and we are really struggling to make things happen. Against quality teams we need to be better with our shot selection. We need to take care of the ball and then we need to knock down shots.”
   With the win, The Dalles Wahtonka moved their record to 3-4 while Crook County fell to 5-3 with the loss.
   Crook County opened play in the Intermountain Hybrid League on Thursday with a game at Mountain View. The Cougars were 5-0 going into the game and ranked second in the latest Class 5A power rankings.
   Following the contest with Mountain View, Crook County does not play again until Friday, Jan. 4, when they host the La Pine Hawks in a 7 p.m. non-league contest.
   December 18
   at The Dalles Wahtonka
   Crook County (34) — Preston Washechek 11, Mahurin 9, Benton 5, Greaves 4, Lee 3, Dean 2, Rutz, Cooper, Egbert, Tavernia. Totals 9 13-20 34.
   The Dalles Wahtonka (55) — Grayson Byers 12, Nerdin 11, Bartels 10, Mathsen 8, Copper 8, Malcolm 4, Esiquio 2, Sugg, Fitsgeralds, Wilson. Totals 24 6-7 55.
   Crook County 4 11 12 7 — 34
   The Dalles Wahtonka 8 21 14 12 — 55
   Three-point goals — Crook County: Benton, Mahurin, Washecheck; The Dalles Wahtonka: Bartels.
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