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Cowboys take second at Burns
Crook County whips Ontario, then falls to Burns in Saturday’s tournament championship
Marcus Greaves goes up for two of his nine points against Ontario. The Cowboys went on to win the game 50-39 to reach the championship of the Burns Invitational. The Cowboys fell to Burns 57-50 in the championship round.
December 10, 2012
The Crook County Cowboys are off to their best start since the 2005-2006 season.
Friday, the Cowboys pulled away late to knock off the Ontario Tigers 50-39 in the first round of the Burns Invitational. The win earned the Cowboys a berth against Burns in the tournament championship and ran their record to 3-0.
“From the second quarter on, our defense was really good,” head coach Jeff Lowenbach said. “Maybe it took a little time to get used to their offense, but I thought that we made our adjustments and played great defense in the second half.”
Shooting long-range jumpers, the Tigers ran out to a 9-2 lead to start the game. However, Crook County did a better job of covering Ontario’s shooters the remainder of the quarter as they closed to within four points by the end of the quarter.
Trailing 17-13 going into the second period, the Cowboys turned up the defensive pressure, outscoring the Tigers 17-10 in the quarter as they took a 30-27 lead into the locker room at the half. Neither team was able to do much offensively in the third quarter as the Cowboys maintained their three-point lead going into the final stanza.
Crook County turned up the defensive heat even more in the fourth quarter, holding Ontario to just three points in the period. Meanwhile, the Cowboys scored 11 points in the period to pull away for the comfortable win.
Dillon Dees led the Cowboys in scoring with 11 points, while Preston Washechek added 10. Troy Benton and Marcus Greaves each pitched in with nine points, and Jacob Mahurin finished with eight.
“When you have five guys a bucket away from scoring in double digits that’s a good thing,” Lowenbach said. “We still need to improve our offense, but we are beginning to get some balanced scoring.”
Dees also grabbed nine rebounds as the Cowboys dominated the glass, outrebounding the Tigers 39-26.
However, it was the defensive pressure that Lowenbach was most pleased with.
“Defense is what we are hanging our hats on,” he said. “We gave up some three’s early and I told the guys that I didn’t think that we were ready to play defense in the first quarter. But we turned up the pressure the rest of the game and played great defense in the fourth quarter.”
The Cowboys started slowly again on Saturday against the Burns Highlanders, and this time were unable to recover.
Burns ran out to an 18-8 first quarter lead. Although the Cowboys battled back and closed to within three points several times, they were unable to recover, finally falling 57-50.
“We had a slow start and we didn’t shoot the ball very well,” Lowenbach said. “We battled our way back, but we just couldn’t shoot the ball well enough to win. All other aspects of the game we were pretty good.”
The Highlanders led 32-27 at the half and built their lead back up to 12 by the end of the third period.
Crook County made a run late in the fourth quarter and closed to within three points with just over two minutes remaining.
However, the team made a couple of turnovers late as the Highlanders held on for the win.
Austin Feist led the Highlanders in scoring with 20 while Tanner Crafts added 14.
The Cowboys were led by Dees, who finished with 10 points. Benton added nine points while Greaves finished with eight. Mahurin, Washechek, and Dillon Dean each added six points for the Cowboys.
The Cowboys (4-1) host the Highlanders in a rematch tonight in a 6 p.m. contest. The team is at home again on both Friday and Saturday when they host Douglas and Gladstone.
Friday, Dec. 7
Crook County (50) — Dillon Dees 11, Washechek 10, Benton 9, Greaves 9, Mahurin 8, Dean 3, Lee, Rutz, Cooper, Egbert, Sutfin. Totals 18 9-15 50.
Ontario (39) — Individual statistics not available. Totals 15 2-7 39.
Crook County 13 17 9 11 — 50
Ontario 17 10 9 3 — 39
Three-point goals — Crook County: Mahurin 2, Dean, Benton, Dees; Ontario: NA.
Saturday, Dec. 8
Crook County (50) — Dillon Dees 10, Benton 9, Greaves 8, Dean 6, Mahurin 6, Washechek 6, Sutfin 5, Cooper. Totals 20 6-18 50.
Burns (57) — Austin Feist 20, Crafts 14, Martin 9, Garner 6, Williams 4, Patterson 4, Hueckman, Sutcliffe, Houck. Totals 20 11-20 57.
Crook County 8 19 8 15 — 50
Burns 18 14 15 10 — 57
Three-point goals — Crook County: Benton 2, Mahurin 2; Burns: Martin 3, Crafts 2, Williams.