Three game road trip will test Crook County

by: TIM STUMM/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Chad Howard and the Cowboys are hoping for a better result this time around against Hermistion

Crook County boys basketball coach Jeff Lowenbach thinks that if his team can win four of their last five games, they can still make the postseason this year.
   The Cowboys currently sit in eighth place in the Intermountain Conference at 4-7, but only a handful of wins separate the league's fifth through eighth place teams. As of now, Summit holds the fourth and final playoff spot with a 6-5 record.
   "Right now we are trying to put ourselves into the situation so that we will still be in it during our last games," Lowenbach said.
   The Cowboys wrap up their season with two games at home. Bend comes to town on February 22 while Summit finishes things off on February 25. Bend holds a 5-8 record but have won five of their last seven games.
   Before they get to this point, however, Crook County's mettle will be tested with three tough games on the road. They travel east this weekend for contests against Hermiston (tonight, 7 p.m.) and Pendleton (Saturday, 2:45), then head to Redmond next Tuesday.
   After Redmond (8-3 IMC) took down Mountain View earlier this week, Hermiston has moved into sole possession of first place in the conference with an 11-2 record. The Bulldogs handed the Cowboys a 79-50 defeat on their home court earlier this season.
   "We're taking it one game at a time," said Lowenbach. "We can't look too far ahead, but we know we still have a shot."
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