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In 55-26 blowout defeat, the Buckaroos were unable to muster consistent offense, get stops in third game of the week

ST. PAUL, Ore. — It's been an up and down start to the season for the St. Paul boys basketball team.

Through five games the team has alternated wins and losses, defeating Southwest Christian and Casco League foe Jewell, and coming up short against the likes of North Clackamas Christian, Mohawk and most recently East Linn Christian Academy on Friday, Dec. 10.

The latter loss was in blowout fashion losing 55-26 after falling into an early deficit that was only exacerbated in the third and fourth quarters.

Part of the defeat falls to the team's recent schedule. The Bucks boys team, like their girls counterpart, competed twice before Friday's matchup against the Eagles. Both of those prior contests were long road trips to Mohawk and Jewell.

PMG PHOTO: TANNER RUSS - St. Paul freshman Brett Knutson whips a pass to the corner against East Linn Christian on Friday, Dec. 10.

"We were just talking about it with our kids, three games this week and five games in eight nights since last Friday," St. Paul coach Kevin Baker said after the game. "We went to Jewell and Mohawk, we had two long bus drives, these kids got home at midnight the last two games. It factored in for sure. We won't see that again the rest of the season, but that factored in."

Another part of the fashion in which St. Paul lost is the team's relative inexperience. The team has no seniors on its current roster and plays a pair of freshmen significant minutes. It's the kind of thing that can only be rectified with more reps on the court.

"There's only two kids out of our seven who are playing a lot who have any varsity experience," Baker said. "A couple of these kids were playing eighth grade basketball a few months ago. Now here they are in varsity. Our depth, we just got tired and worn out. Their age and their experience, they just took over in the second half."

One player who did shine during the contest was 6-6 post Warren Rose who kept the Bucks on the board early in the game and collected his share of rebounds and blocks on the defensive end as well.

"Warren was a beast in the first half," Baker said. "He was all over the court, defensively getting rebounds, I don't know how many blocks he ended up getting, we were able to get him the ball, and obviously he had an advantage every time he touched it down there. Probably didn't get him the ball as much as we needed to and that's kind of the inexperience of the young guys."

St. Paul (2-3) has a chance to find its third win of the season Monday, Dec. 13 when they face off against Perrydale (3-1) in a Casco League encounter.

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