Woodburn boys fall at the buzzer
Despite being outscored by 10 points in the third quarter and trailing for much of the second half, the Woodburn boys basketball team had one final chance to send the game to overtime in Fridays home opener against Rex Putnam.
Down 65-62 with six seconds left in the game, Bulldog junior Rey Ruiz took an inbound pass up the left side of the court and wove past several Kingsmen defenders to take a contested 3-pointer as time was about to expire.
In just a few seconds, the ball missed right, Rex Putnam pulled down the rebound, several Woodburn players called for a foul and time expired.
The Bulldogs (0-2) lost their second game to open the 2013 winter season, despite impressive games from juniors Ruiz and Leo Garza, who led the team with 17 and 12 points, respectively.
Garza got the team going early in a high-scoring first quarter, picking up several quick baskets in the post to give Woodburn an early 23-20 lead after one period of play.
The Bulldogs expanded their lead to 36-30 at the half, but Rex Putnam used an 18-8 edge in the third quarter to build a 48-44 lead heading into the final eight minutes of play.
But as the Kingsmen tried to pull away, Ruiz kept bringing the Bulldogs back in the game.
After Daniel Labunsky connected on a layup to pull Woodburn within 56-51 with just more than three minutes to play, Ruiz took over, showcasing his ability to shoot and get to the line.
Damian Espinosa found Ruiz near the right-side of the 3-point line for a bucket to make it a 56-54 game, as Ruiz scored the next nine points for the Bulldogs.
Ruiz went 3-of-4 at the foul line, sandwiched around another 3-pointer on an assist from Garza on the next three Woodburn possessions.
With eight seconds left, Labunsky scored on a put-back to make it 64-62. The Kingsmen made one of two free throws on their next possession, setting up Ruiz for the potential game-tying shot.
Prior to the game, the Bulldogs dropped their season-opener in a 72-52 loss at Cleveland High School on Wednesday.
Woodburn has another chance to pick up their first victory when the team hosts the Aloha Warriors (1-1) Tuesday evening.