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Panthers prevail over Cowboys

Redmond pulls away in third quarter to earn win

by: TIM STUMM/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Senior Sean Santucci boxes out a Redmond player in the third quarter of Tuesday's matchup.

The expression on Jeff Lowenbach's face said it all.
   The first-year Crook County boys basketball coach seemed to visibly wince in pain as Redmond's desperation shot banged off the upper part of the backboard and fell in while the final seconds ticked off of the second quarter clock.
   The bucket increased the 10-3 Panthers lead to only four, 21-17, heading into the half, but it gave them much more than that.
   After a back and forth first half of play, the basket finally handed the momentum over to Redmond for good.
   The Panthers opened up the third quarter with a 9-2 run and effectively pulled away after that for a 61-48 victory Tuesday night at the Dick Branaugh gym in Redmond.
   "That helped them out," said senior Kyle Huntley. "We were playing strong 'D' and then that just turned it all around because it just brought us all down in the locker room."
   Huntley, doing his part to fill the void left by the absence of scor, ing leader Thomas McCarthy, who sat out with a knee injury, stepped it up for the third game in a row by tallying 14 points. Senior Rory Priday topped all Cowboy scorers with 18 points, 15 of which came from behind the three-point arc.
   Crook County finished with seven three-pointers overall.
   The Cowboys battled back in the beginning of the fourth quarter, trimming an 11-point deficit to six at 46-40 with a 10-6 run to start the period. The rally was fueled by back-to-back three's from Priday and Chad Howard.
   "We have to live outside. What we were trying to do was get it in and then get a kick out," Huntley said. "That was our game. Our shots just weren)t all falling tonight."
   Redmond quickly regained its composure to complete the win.
   The Panther's Enoch Deaton led all scorers with 24 points and an astounding six three-pointers.
   The Cowboys, who fall to 4-10 in the Intermountain Conference with the loss, wrap up their season next week with home games against Bend (Tuesday, 7 p.m.) and Summit (Friday, 7 p.m.). Both teams are fighting for the fourth and final IMC playoff spot.
   "We want to play hard," said Huntley. "We want to win out. That's our goal so we can get going next year."