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Wildcats use big third quarter to pull away from Crook County in first round of Capitol City Classic

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Kaleb Savage goes to the hoop in a game against La Pine earlier this year. The Cowboys, who have played just one home game so far this season, fell to the Wilsonville Wildcats by an 81-45 margin on Tuesday in the first round of the Capitol City Classic. The Crook County Cowboys were blasted 81-45 Tuesday night by the Wilsonville Wildcats in the first round of the Capitol City Classic, which is being held at Willamette University in Salem.

The Cowboys struggled to contain the taller Wildcats the entire night. Crook County struggled offensively and were unable to keep pace with the Wildcats.

"They are really good," Crook County head coach Darin Kessi said. "They are the best team we've played by far. They shot the ball really well. They were really crisp with what they did."

Wilsonville raced out to a 20-8 lead at the end of the first period.

The Cowboys played better in the second quarter but were still outscored 21-17 as the Wildcats took a 41-25 lead into the locker room at the half.

Zach Roche and Gabe Reichle did most of the damage for Wilsonville.

The 6-2 Reichle poured in 17 points in the first half and finished the game with 23, while Roche, a 6-0 guard, added nine in the first half and 20 in the contest.

Although guards did much of the damage for the Wildcats, they were aided by strong rebounding from their post players.

The Cowboys were missing post players Jordan Graydon and Tyler Humeston, and Kessi said that impacted the outcome of the game.

"I think that had an impact on our interior," he said. "They just made us pay for every mistake, which is what really good teams do."

Although the Cowboys were behind the entire game, they were still in striking distance until part way through the third quarter.

Crook County went on a brief run early in the period, scoring six of the first eight points of the period as they closed to within 12 at 43-31.

However, that was as close as they would get. Following a Wilsonville timeout, the Wildcats upped the intensity, and Crook County was unable to keep pace as Wilsonville went on a tear, outscoring Crook County 10-4 the remainder of the third quarter and 24 to 10 in the final period as they pulled away for the easy win.

"We need to do a better job of minimizing other teams' runs," Kessi said. "I also need to do a better job of coaching because ultimately if we don't play well, that's my job, to put us in a position to be more consistent and play to our abilities."

Kaleb Savage hit three three-pointers for the Cowboys and finished with 15 points. However, Savage failed to score in the second half.

Shane Kessi added eight points for the Cowboys while brothers Kevin and Jesse Sanchez each finished with five.

In addition to Reichle and Roche, Andrew Classen also had a strong game for the Wildcats, finishing with nine points.

The one thing that the Cowboys did better than the Wilsonville was shoot free throws. Crook County hit on 71 percent of their free throws, going 5-7 from the charity stripe.

Meanwhile, Wilsonville hit on just 56 percent of their free throws. However, the Wildcats were able to get to the free-throw line more frequently as they went 9-16 from the line.

The Cowboys also had some success from long range, knocking down eight three-pointers. However, Wilsonville was also effective from behind the arc, hitting nine threes.

With the loss, the Cowboys dropped to 5-4 on the season, while Wilsonville improved to 5-0 on the year.

Crook County has fallen on hard times since opening the season with a 3-0 start.

Since then, the Cowboys have gone just 2-4 and have struggled with consistency.

The team has looked good at times but is getting beaten on the boards and is struggling to find scoring at key moments.

The Capitol City Classic continues with games today and Saturday.

Following the tournament, the Cowboys do not play again until Saturday, Jan. 5, when they go on the road to take on Class 4A Estacada (3-5).

Wilsonville 81, Crook County 45

Tuesday, December 18

At Willamette University

Crook County 8 17 10 10 — 45

Wilsonville 20 21 16 24 — 81

Crook County — Kaleb Savage 15, Kessi 8, K. Sanchez 5, J. Sanchez 5, Mullan 4, Langley 3, Ramirez 3, Chaney 2, Arnold. Totals: 16 5-7 45.

Wilsonville — Gabe Reichle 25, Roche 20, Classen 9, N. Thebiay 5, Irby 5, Scanlan 5, Rivers 4, Shivers 4, Dougall 2, L. Thebiay 2. Totals: 31 9-16 81.

Three-point goals — Crook County: Savage 3, Kessi 2, K. Sanchez, Ramirez, J. Sanchez. Wilsonville: Reichle 4, Classen 3, Roche 2, Scanlan.

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