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Crook County uses tough defense, solid offense to roll past the Ravens 64-37 in Intermountain Conference basketball play

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Cayden Lowenbach goes up for a dunk over a trio of Ridgeview defenders. Lowenbach had a pair of dunks in the contest and finished with 12 points as the Cowboys rolled past the Ridgeview Ravens.The Crook County Cowboys played perhaps their best defensive game of the year as they shut down the Ridgeview Ravens, taking a 64-37 Intermountain Conference victory Friday night in Redmond.

"I thought we were really good on defense," said Crook County head coach Jason Mumm. "We made a couple of mistakes in the first half that gave them some easy ones, but we buckled down in the second half and that's really how we extended out lead, was our defense."

Crook County struggled to get going offensively early in the contest against an aggressive zone defense from the Ravens. The two teams were tied 2-2 with four minutes remaining in the first quarter.

However, three consecutive three-point bombs from Jesse Sanchez jumpstarted the Crook County offense as they rolled out to a 15-7 lead at the end of the first period.

"I just knew that we needed a scorer and once we started scoring everybody started getting hyped up," said Sanchez, who was in just his second game back after missing more than three weeks with a serious injury. I didn't know if I could be in shape, but Lowenbach (assistant coach Jeff Lowenbach) told me, you are back and you have to go as hard as you can. We need you. And I went in there and I played as hard as I could."

Mumm was also pleased with the performance from Jesse Sanchez.

"He sparkplugged us," Mumm said. "As soon as we see one shot go it seems like it opens the floodgates for us."

Sanchez didn't score the rest of the game, but his nine first quarter points set the tone for the rest of the game.

"We really wanted to pound the inside and work our big guys against their size," Mumm said. "I thought we had an advantage there, so once we started hitting some outside ones it stretched the zone and we were able to throw the ball inside."

The remainder of the game the Cowboys pounded the ball inside. Then, whenever Ridgeview would collapse to double team a player in the middle Crook County found players on the outside, who hit three-pointers as Crook County steadily increased their lead.

The Cowboys led 33-17 at the end of the first half and 48-26 at the end of three quarters.

The Cowboy lead stretched to more than 30 points before Crook County emptied their bench with just under three minutes to play in the game. That despite the fact that leading scorers Cayden Lowenbach and Kevin Sanchez, who scored 12 and 17 points respectively did not play in the fourth quarter.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Caleb Arnold goes to the hoop for two of his 10 points as the Crook County Cowboys rolled past the Ridgeview Ravens 64-37 Friday night in Intermountain Conference basketball action.Sanchez did much of his damage from long range, drilling five three-pointers, while all of Lowenbach's points were in the paint, including a pair of dunks, the first of his career.

Caleb Arnold was also in double figures for the Cowboys with 10 points.

Nolan Conroyd was the lone player in double figures for the Ravens with 13 points. However, Conroyd his just one field goal in the contest. The rest of his points all came on free throws. Kevin Edmondson also had a solid game for Ridgeview, with nine points.

The Cowboys outrebounded the Ravens 29-20, with Lowenbach pulling down 10 rebounds to lead all players on the boards.

However, Crook County shot just four free throws the entire contest, while the Ravens went 12-for-15 from the charity stripe.

"It felt good," said senior post Jordan Graydon of the win. "I think we needed it, especially after the loss to The Dalles early in league. After our win over Pendleton and this game I think we have some good momentum after this win."

The Cowboys are now 2-1 in conference play, while the Ravens fell to 0-3 in Intermountain Conference action. Crook County is back in action on Tuesday when they take on the Hood River Valley Eagles in a 6:30 p.m. home contest.

Crook County 64, Ridgeview 37

Friday January 31

At Ridgeview

Crook County 15 18 15 16 — 64

Ridgeview 7 10 9 11 — 37

Crook County (64) —Kevin Sanchez 17, Lowenbach 12, Arnold 10, J. Sanchez 9, Graydon 6, Abel 3, T. Smith 3, H. Smith 2, Ross 2, Ramirez, Pickhardt, Reed. Totals: 26 2-4 64.

Ridgeview (37) — Nolan Conroyd 13, Edmondson 9, Schwartz 6, Benz 4, McWhorter 2, Johnson 2, Carpenter 1, Perkins, Milington. Totals: 12 12-15 37.

Three-point goals — Crook County: K. Sanchez 5, J. Sanchez 3, Nunez, T. Smith. Ridgeview: Edmondson.

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