The Roosevelt Roughriders ended the playoff run by the Crook County Cowboys on Friday night in Portland, 55-42.
Roosevelt will continue on as one of the top eight teams at McArthur Court in Eugene this week, while the loss for the Cowboys will complete their season until next year.
And it was a tough one for the Cowboys. Crook County led 25-24 at halftime -- and looked pretty fantastic in the first half.
The Cowboys started the second half on an 8-2 run over the first three minutes, but then went cold over the remainder of the third quarter. Roosevelt came back in the third, tied it, and then hit a clutch 3-pointer at the buzzer of the third period. With the trey, Roosevelt took a seven-point lead into the fourth quarter, and were able to stall and create turnovers on the Cowboys, who couldn't make a comeback.
After the great first half, and the hot start to the third quarter, I think everybody was thinking the Cowboys could pull an upset. But Roosevelt, who pressed all game, were extra aggressive in the bottom half of the third period, and with the small lead, were able to hold on to the ball and wait for their shot. In fact, Roosevelt stalled for 1:20 at the end of the third period, until they hit the 3-pointer at the buzzer to go up by seven.
In the fourth, the Cowboys were never truly out of it until the very end, but they only scored nine points in the final eight minutes.
It almost seemed that in the fourth quarter, Roosevelt had an answer for each point Crook County scored. Roosevelt didn't score on every possession, they just seemed to match each point when Crook County scored. For example, David Reeher started the fourth quarter by scoring a 3-point play - a big boost to the Cowboys -- but on the ensuing possession, Roosevelt went right down and hit a 3-pointer. Speaking from experience, this is extremely frustrating. When playing a good team like Roosevelt, and where each point scored is like a battle unto itself, it's extremely difficult to handle when the team comes down on the next possession and matches the points you just scored. It's like all the energy you just put in on the offensive end was meaningless.
Anyway, great season for the Cowboys. They continue to improve each year under Lowenbach, and I can't wait until next year.
Full story in Tuesday's CO.