After dropping a 79-50 decision to Hermiston, Crook County responds with a win over the Buckaroos

by: CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Chad Howard guards Hermiston's Daniel Teater closely in an Intermountain Conference matchup Friday at Crook County.  The Cowboys scored only one third quarter point in a 79-50 loss.

The Crook County boys basketball team countered a disastrous second half performance Friday against Hermiston with a fourth quarter comeback Saturday over Pendleton.
   The Cowboys scored only one point in the third quarter against the Bulldogs en route to a 79-50 loss, but were able to rally from an eight point deficit Saturday to defeat the Buckaroos 65-61 in overtime.
   "I think we played [Saturday's game] pretty much the way we should play every game," coach Jeff Lowenbach said. "We didn't necessarily do anything fantastic but we didn't do anything horrible either."
   Crook County played even ball with Hermiston for the contest's first two quarters. The Bulldogs jumped out to an early 10-3 lead but the Cowboys fought back. With 1:18 left in the first quarter, Thomas McCarthy brought Crook County to within two at 15-13 with a jumpshot over two Hermiston defenders.
   Hermiston led most of the second quarter but the Cowboys went on a 7-0 run and tied the game at 32-32.
   The two squads traded buckets the last minute of the half and Hermiston went into the intermission with a narrow 38-36 advantage.
   The Cowboys, however, lost all momentum in the third quarter. Hermiston jumped out of the gate strong and held Crook County scoreless for the quarter's first nine minutes. Carter Gill finally broke the scoring drought when he converted one of two free throws, but it proved to be the only points the Cowboys would score the entire quarter.
   The Bulldogs entered the fourth quarter up 57-37 and didn't look back, holding on for a 29-point win.
   "I really don't know [what happened]. If you can only score one point in a quarter, you don't deserve to win." said Lowenbach. "I give Hermiston a lot of credit, they're a good team. But we didn't come to play in the second half."
   Rory Priday finished with 13 points for Crook County.
   Priday shot well from behind the three-point arc and led the Cowboys with three threes.
   Thomas McCarthy added seven points including two three-pointers.
   Saturday, Crook County complemented a back and forth first half with an equal effort in the second half.
   With the game tied at halftime, the Buckaroos went on a slight run and brought a 49-46 advantage into the fourth quarter.
   The Cowboys trailed most of the final quarter but were able to tie the game and force overtime when Kyle Huntley made two free throws with eight seconds remaining.
   Crook County then outscored Pendleton 4-0 and recorded the 65-61 victory.
   Priday made two free throws with thirty seconds left to seal the win.
   "We put what happened to us on Friday and stepped up and had a pretty solid game," said Lowenbach.
   The Cowboys rebounded considerably better in Saturday's contest, finishing with a total of 36 team rebounds.
   Sean Santucci led the charge pulling down a season high 13 boards while Huntley and Court Abell each added seven.
   "If there's one thing that won the game for us, its how we did on the glass," said Lowenbach. "A lot of our guys really stepped up and went after the ball."
   Priday again led Crook County's scoring attack with 16 points while Huntley contributed 13 and Abell had 10.
   The Cowboys improve to 2-1 in the Intermountain Conference with the win.
   They travel to Mountain View tonight then host Redmond on Friday. Both matches are scheduled for 7 p.m.
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