Under the leadership of new head basketball coach Jason Mumm, the Crook County Cowboys have had one of their best summer basketball seasons in history.
The team finished their summer schedule Wednesday night in Prineville with easy victories over Sisters and Ridgeview, running their off-season record to 17-1.
"We have a good group of guys that show up regularly," Mumm said. "The competitive side of me wants to win every single game. We want to score as many points and hold them to as little points as possible, but really what the summer is about is about fine tuning some of the stuff that we want to do."
All summer, the Cowboys have shown the ability to overcome early deficits.
The team trailed West Albany by 10 points late in a game earlier this year and was able to use their poise and timely three-point shots to take a one-point victory.
Wednesday against Sisters was more of the same.
The Outlaws jumped out to an 8-0 lead before Mumm called timeout.
Following the timeout, the Cowboys cranked up the defensive pressure, outscoring the Outlaws 17-3 as they took a 17-11 lead.
Crook County never trailed again as they slowly pulled away for a 61-41 win.
Kevin Sanchez led the Cowboys with 17 points, while Cayden Lowenbach added 14 and Caleb Arnold 10.
Arnold's double figure performance was especially impressive as he missed most of the first half because of his summer job and entered the game with no warmup of any kind.
Jessie Sanchez and Jordan Graydon also had solid offensive games with eight points apiece, while Jrei Ramirez added four.
Hogan Smith and Ozzie Reed also played in the game, but neither player scored.
Unlike the game with Sisters, which was close until midway through the second half, the Ridgeview game was a different story.
The Ravens took an early 2-0 lead, however, the Cowboys quickly answered and never trailed again.
Crook County led 28-17 at the half before running away in the second half for a 73-37 victory.
Once again, Kevin Sanchez led the way, this time with 21 points, while Arnold added 15 and both Ramirez and Graydon pitched in with 10.
Lowenbach pitched in with nine points, while Zach Guthrie added four, Jessie Sanchez two and Smith two.
"We try to make an emphasis that it doesn't matter who scores," Mumm said. "We are just going to try to make one more pass to the open guy and this group has been really good at that."
Mumm added that Wednesday was the first time all summer that the team had used their half-court trap. Although it was successful part of the time against Sisters, it led to a lot of easy buckets against Ridgeview.
"We really tried to work that trap against Sisters," Mumm said. "It got better against Ridgeview. We want to play fast. We want to get out in transition. We want to shoot the ball quickly. We don't want to pass up any open shots. We put that half-court trap in to get some deflections; get some steals and get some runouts."
Mumm said that he is pleased with the progress that he has seen from the team so far this summer. He added that the goal is to have the new offensive and defensive schemes so well in place that the team will have to spend only minimal time on learning them next fall.
The only thing remaining on the team's summer schedule is a team camp this coming week at Gonzaga. Following the game, the team will still be able to come to open gyms but are done with games until the regular season starts next December.
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