La Salle is at the top of its game in an 82-44 rout of Estacada

With a target on their backs, the top-ranked La Salle Falcons last week put two more games in the win column, upping their season record to 14-2 (4-0 in the Tri-Valley Conference] in boys basketball with wins over Madras (56-45) and Estacada (82-44).

The Falcons shot the lights out in last Friday’s game with the Rangers, hitting 31-of-60 shots from the floor, including twelve 3-pointers.

Junior wings Matthew D’Amore and Reece Wible were on fire. The 5-8 D’Amore connected on 5-of-8 shots from beyond the arc, while Wible, at 6-6, was 6-of-11 from the field — with four 3-pointers.

Wible (16 points), D’Amore (15 points), 5-9 junior wing Michael Duarte (12 points) and 6-7 junior Keeston Smith (12 points) led a Falcon offensive attack that saw 11 players score.

Led by Wible (6 assists) and 5-6 junior Michael Edwards (5 assists), the Falcons had assists on 29 of 31 baskets. And La Salle’s entire team only had six turnovers, as the guards ran the offense like a well-oiled machine.

The Falcons outscored the visiting Rangers in every quarter, building a 36-21 advantage by halftime and a 63-35 lead heading into the final period.

“We hit twelve 3’s tonight because we were active against their zone,” said La Salle coach Jared Curtiss. “Posts flashed strong and guards had ready feet and hands. The passes were right at the numbers, which is a big reason we connected on so many.

“Our guys believe in each teammate and they know their role. And when you see your kids play this hard and unselfishly, it gives coaches goosebumps....

“We might not be the best collection of players, as we graduated so many last year. But this is a great team that makes the extra pass, takes charges, and are genuinely excited for each other.”

Curtiss said that rebounding and ball control were pivotal in the Jan. 28 home win over the upset-minded White Buffaloes.

Nursing a 28-21 lead at halftime, the Falcons widened the gap in the third period.

Defense was pivotal down the stretch. Madras was 3-of-13 from the field in the fourth frame.”

Luke Kolln had a big game for the Falcons, scoring 10 points, assisting on five baskets, and heading up the defense with six steals.

Smith (14 points, 9 rebounds) and Wible (12 points) were the top point-getters for the Falcons.

Madras was led by 5-10 senior guard Jered Pichette (17 points) and 6-4 junior post Devon Wolfe (14 points).

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