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Buckaroo hoops round-up: The boys team is improving its record in league play

It's getting difficult to imagine the St. Paul girls basketball team losing a game. Many of these same girls didn't lose in volleyball this season, and the results of their basketball games tell the story of a team on an unfettered march to another state championship.GRAPHIC FILE PHOTO - St. Paul's game versus Perrydale could be a preview of the Casco League title chase as the Pirates have been the Bucks' toughest test this year.

The Bucks (14-0) dismantled Jewell 75-17 on the road last Friday after winning by forfeit over Oregon School for the Deaf on Jan. 7. Prior to that, the 1A Bucks beat 3A schools Catlin Gabel, Burns and Salem Academy to win a tournament in Salem – and they did so with relative ease.

Can a 1A school beat the Bucks? So far, they haven't proven it. The closest wins of the season in 1A competition for No. 1 ranked St. Paul are a 53-51 road victory at No. 5 Kennedy and a 35-25 win in a dogfight against No. 3 Perrydale.

Other than that, it's been all blowouts and the Bucks are 5-0 in Casco League play so far.

Next on the docket for the team is a home game against Crosshill Christian (3-11) on Wednesday night. After that, they will go on the road Friday to face Falls City (5-7) and visit Livingstone Adventist (5-2) on Jan. 20. Six league contests and one non-league affair will remain for St. Paul after that as it presumably coasts to the postseason.

Buckaroo boys back on track

After a difficult start to the season, the St. Paul boys basketball team has two straight double-digit wins under its belt. The Bucks (5-9, 4-1 Casco League) beat Oregon School for the Deaf 69-34 on Jan. 7 and handled Jewell 63-46 on Jan. 10. Both wins improved the team's record in league play, which is markedly better than its performance in non-league contests.

St. Paul is 1-8 against teams outside of the Casco League.

Prior to the pair of wins, St. Paul was the loser of four consecutive games – the first a 59-47 loss to No. 7 Joseph. After that, the Bucks lost all three games in the Salem Academy tournament to Kennedy, Umatilla and the junior varsity squad from Salem Academy.

The boys will follow the same upcoming schedule as the girls, playing at home against Crosshill Christian (13-2) on Wednesday before travelling to Falls City (8-4) and Livingstone Adventist (3-4) on Friday and Jan. 20.

As of Tuesday afternoon, St. Paul was second in the Casco League standings behind Crosshill, which boasts a 6-0 record in league play. The Bucks hope to maintain that position in order to have a more favorable road to a league title come late February.

Despite the challenges that came with their early season schedule, the Bucks still have a shot to make some noise in the 1A postseason in their first year under new head coach Robby Robinson.

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