Crook County unable to overcome slow first halves in road losses at Pendleton and Hermiston over weekend

by: TERESA TOOLEY/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - David Reeher goes up for two of his 25 points against Pendleton on Friday.

   The Crook County High School boys basketball team had a tough weekend on their road trip to eastern Oregon, dropping games to Pendleton and Hermiston.
   On Friday the Cowboys got behind early to Pendleton trailing 30 to 14 at the half and then made the game exciting at the end before falling 56-52.
   "We didn't really get off the bus, is what it seemed like to me," said Head Coach Jeff Lowenbach. "We had probably our worst first half of the season. We only scored 14 points and Pendleton played well, executed well and scored 30. If we would have come off the bus ready to play, there would probably have been a different result."
   David Reeher had 11 of Crook County's 14 first-half points and finished the night with 25 points, while Jordan Danforth was the only other Cowboy in double figures with 11.
   The Cowboys fought back into the game in the second half, cutting Pendleton's lead to nine at the end of the third quarter and getting as close as two late in the game, but were never able to quite catch the Buckaroos.
   "They just made shots when they had to make shots down the stretch," said Lowenbach.
   Better game against Bulldogs
   On Saturday at Hermiston the Cowboys got off to a better start trailing 16-12 at the end of one period, but got into foul trouble and had a slow second quarter falling behind 36-24 at the half.
   "We came out and actually played half way decent in the first quarter," Lowenbach said. "We ran into some trouble in the second quarter. The game was called a little differently than we've been used to. It was a real ticky tack kind of game. I think there were 50 fouls called total in the game, so it was tough to get into a rhythm."
   Once again the Cowboys clawed their way back into the game in the second half, but foul trouble finally caught up with them and they fell 74-54.
   "We played pretty well in the second half really," said Lowenbach. "We had it all the way down to 4 points again with about three and a half minutes left, and then Reeher fouled out and someone else fouled out and we kind of fell apart after that."
   Chase Dunten led Crook County in scoring with 16 points while Reeher added 15 and Daniel Teater contributed 14. Hermiston was led by Cody Meeks with 34. Free throw shooting was a contributing factor in the game as Crook County went only 11-25 from the line, and was only 3-14 from the charity stripe in the first half, while Hermiston converted 24 of their 33 attempts for the game.
   "We played better on Saturday for sure," added Lowenbach. "If we had played Friday like we did Saturday we would have come away from the weekend with at least one win, but that didn't happen so now we've got to kind of regroup and go strong with our last six games."
   Crook County finds themselves in fourth place in the Intermountain Conference with a 4-4 conference mark and a 10-8 overall record. Hermiston leads the conference with a perfect 8-0 conference mark, while Mountain View and Pendleton are tied for second with 4-3 records.
   Crook County is off until Friday when they travel to 2-3 The Dalles/Wahtonka.
   "We are still in control of our own destiny," said Lowenbach. "Our next six games are very winnable games. We truly feel that we could and probably should go 6-0 and finish league 10-4 and that would probably be good enough for second place."
   Friday, Jan. 25
   Crook County (52) - David Reeher 25, Danforth 11, Dunten 8, Teater 8, Mottl, Mountz, Haring, Marciel. Totals 20 5-11 52.
   Pendleton (56) - Spencer Sunden 21, Wright 19, Porthums 10, West 4, Wyland 2, Peterson, Hamilton, Sluvland. Totals 20 12-17 56.
   Crook County 8 6 14 24 - 52
   Pendleton 13 17 7 19 - 56
   Three-point goals - Crook County: Danforth 3, Dunten 2, Teater 2. Pendleton: Sunden 2, Wright 2.
   Saturday, Jan. 26
   Crook County (54) - Chase Dunten 16, Mottl, Mountz 4, Haring 2, Danforth 6, Teater 14, Knox, Marciel 1, Reeher 15. Totals 19 11-25 58.
   Hermiston (74) -Cody Meeks 34, Ross 12, Grogan 8, Rodriguez, Irwin, Ortiz 10, Baldock 2, Montez, Humphrey 8. Totals 23 24-33 74.
   Crook County 12 12 14 20 - 58
   Hermiston 16 22 9 27 - 74
   Three-point goals - Crook County: Dunten 3, Danforth 2, Teater 2, Mountz 1, Reeher 1. Hermiston: Meeks 4.
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