Cowboys stay close to White Buffalos, but are blasted by Outlaws

The Crook County Cowboys basketball team kept things close for much of the contest before finally succumbing 65-48 to the Madras White Buffalos Friday LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kohlter Kee goes to the hoop against Brent Sullivan of Madras. Kee scored seven points in the contest as the White Buffalos won 65-48.

“Our effort tonight, at times, was really good,” said Crook County Head Coach Darin Kessi. “I was really proud of our effort at times, but there were times when we took plays off — where we lost our focus. To beat teams that are good quality teams requires 32 minutes of clean focus.”

On Saturday, the Cowboys endured a worse outcome, as they were blasted 54-26 by the Sisters Outlaws.

“You know we took a pretty big step forward against Madras and a couple of steps backwards against Sisters,” Kessi said. “We just didn’t have the team energy and effort for Sisters that we brought against Madras. I don’t know if it was fatigue or lack of focus — Sisters isn’t very good, and if we bring the energy and focus that we brought against Madras, then we should have had a way different outcome.”

The Cowboys fell behind early against the White Buffalos on Friday. Austin Rauschenburg hit a pair of early three-point shots for Madras as they sprinted out to a 14-2 lead.

However, Crook County battled back and trailed just 14-6 at the end of the first quarter.

The Cowboys were within six points most of the second period before the White Buffalos pulled out to a 31-22 halftime lead. The two teams traded baskets in the third quarter as the White Buffalos held on to a 44-35 lead going into the final period.

The two teams continued to trade baskets until midway through the fourth quarter when Madras piled on 12 consecutive points to break the game wide open.

Jered Pichette led a balanced Madras attack with 18 points. Devon Wolfe, Brent Sullivan, and Rauschenburg were also in double figures with 12 points apiece.

A.J. Cooper led the Cowboys with 14 points, while Seth Kessi added eight and Carl Kilthau and Kohlter Kee each finished with seven.

“I feel like we are coming together more as a team,” Cooper said. “We are starting to understand each other and we are making some progress.”

Jaime Villagomez led the Cowboys in rebounding with five.

Still, despite the loss, Kessi said that the Cowboys made huge strides from their first game of the season, a 70-39 loss to Burns.

“I was encouraged,” he said. “The difference between us tonight and Burns as far as an effort standpoint was vastly improved.”

Unlike Friday’s game, the Cowboys were never in contention on Saturday against the Outlaws. Crook County managed just one field goal in the first quarter as they fell behind 14-2. The Cowboys made a brief run in the second period, outscoring the Outlaws 9-5, but that was as close as they would get. The Outlaws led 19-11 going into the third quarter. However, Sisters dominated the period, outscoring Crook County 17-5 to regain control of the game. With the game no longer in doubt, Sisters continued to extend their lead throughout the fourth period.

Sisters’ Connor Schaab was the only player to score in double figures in the contest, finishing with 14 points. However, 14 other Outlaws scored at least one point in the contest.

Meanwhile Kessi led the Cowboys with eight points, while Nate Jones added seven and Cooper finished with six.

“Hopefully this week will be more about making corrections,” said Kessi. “We need to work hard and get better. That’s all we can focus on.”

The Cowboys (0-3) do not play again until Friday and Saturday, when they compete in the Gladstone Tournament.

Madras 65, Crook County 48

at Madras

Madras (65) — Jered Pichette 18, Wolde 12, Sullivan 12, Rauschenburg 12, Holliday 6, Rehwinkel 2, Estrada 2, Bryant 1. Totals 25 10-18 65.

Crook County (48) — A.J. Cooper 14, Kessi 8, Kilthau 7, Kee 7, Parker 5, Villagomez 3, Tavernia 2. Totals 16 9-16 48.

Madras 14 17 13 21 — 65

Crook County 6 16 13 13 — 48

Three-point goals — Madras: Holliday 2, Rauschenburg 2, Pichette; Crook County: Cooper 3, Kilthau, Kessi, Kee, Parker.

Sisters 54, Crook County 26

at Sisters

Crook County (26) — Seth Kessi 8, Jones 7, Cooper 6, Villagomez 2, Kilthau 2, Tavernia 1. Totals 11-3-NA 26.

Sisters (54) — Connor Schaab 14, Larson 6, Harrer 6, Moore 5, Kaping 5, Adams 3, Hailey 2, Gill 2, Stadell 2, Martinez 2, Greaney 2, Gladden 2, Johnson 1, Lewis 1, McKenzie 1. Totals 18 11-24 54.

Crook County 2 9 5 10 — 26

Sisters 14 5 17 18 — 54

Three-point goals — Crook County: Jones; Sisters: Schaab 2, Moore.

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