Cowboys split as league season opens
Crook County falls to Hermiston in league opener on Friday 62-50, defeats Pendleton 51-48 Saturday
The Crook County High School boys basketball team split a pair of games on the opening weekend of the league basketball season, dropping a game to Hermiston on Friday, then rebounding to defeat Pendleton in a close game on Saturday.
On Friday the Cowboys got off to a fast start leading Hermiston 21-16 at the end of the first quarter, but scored only 16 second- half points in a 62-50 loss.
"We lost our heads for about 45 seconds at the beginning of the fourth quarter," said Head Coach Jeff Lowenbach. "At the beginning of the fourth quarter it was 40-40 then J.J. Ross hit a three, they put pressure on us and we turned the ball over and before I could even get a time out it went from 40-40 to 40-48, and then the whole game changed."
Playing his strongest game since coming back from a knee injury, David Reeher led the Cowboys in both scoring and rebounding with 24 points and 14 rebounds, but most of his scoring came in the first half. James Nunez added 10 points for Crook County while the Bulldogs Ross led all scorers with 31 points.
"We didn't shoot the ball well from the perimeter, but truly the game boiled down to that 45 second stretch," Lowenbach said. "We were executing and playing right with them the rest of the game. That was a battle between for sure two of the top teams in the league and we kind of let it slip away, but I was pleased with our effort and all that. We did good stuff; we just lost our brain for about 30 seconds."
Cowboys defeat Buckaroos in nail-biter when Pendleton misses three-point shot at the buzzer
On Saturday, the Cowboys struggled to score points, but managed to find a way to win as they defeated the Pendleton Buckaroos 51-48.
"I think that we had a little bit of a let down and we might have been overlooking them a bit," Lowenbach said. "We came out sluggish after a tough game the night before, but we found a way to squeak it out."
Reeher and Nunez each scored 18 points to lead the Cowboys in scoring while Mikal Wright led the Buckaroos with 17. Reeher also had 11 rebounds and six blocked shots, and Daniel Teater played a solid game with eight rebounds including a timely rebound off of a missed free throw late in the game that possibly saved the game for Crook County.
"Pendleton was scrappy, they had good perimeter play and they executed well," said Lowenbach. "What really threw us in that game is that 1-3-1 zone they threw at us. Early on and in stretches it bothered us. We weren't exactly sure how to attack it."
The Cowboys travel to Madras on Friday to take on the fast-paced White Buffaloes. The game has a 7 p.m. start time.
"Run-and-gun on Friday," Lowenbach said. "They are going to be running and shooting threes."
Friday, Jan. 4
Crook County (50) - David Reeher 24, Dunten 6, Mottl, Mountz, Haring, Nunez 10, Danforth 4, Teater 6, Marciel. Totals 22 4-10 50.
Hermiston (62) - J.J. Ross 31, Rodriguez, Irwin 7, Kayembe, Grogan 12, Meeks 7, Smith, Ortiz 3, Baldock 2, Williams, Montez, Humphrey, Royer. Totals 21 14-29 62.
Crook County 21 13 6 10 - 50
Hermiston 16 15 9 22 - 62
Three-point goals - Crook County: Danforth 1, Reeher 1. Hermiston: Irwin 1, Ross 1, Grogan 1.
Saturday, Jan. 5
Crook County (51) - David Reeher 18, James Nunez 18, Dunten 5, Mottl, Mountz, Haring, Danforth 7, Teater 3, Marciel. Totals 21 15-21 51.
Pendleton (48) - Mikal Wright 17, Stuvland 2, Warner 10, Sundin 13, Wyland, Peterson 2, Ernst 2, West 2. Totals 16 11-16 48.
Crook County 7 20 14 10 - 51
Pendleton 13 17 7 11 - 48
Three-point goals - Crook County: Nunez 3, Dunten 1, Danforth 1, Teater 1. Pendleton: Sundin 3, Wright 1, Warner 1.