Enterprise’s Alex Tyler goes up for a lay-in in the Outlaws’ 61-46 victory over Wallowa Wednesday night. CASEY KELLAS - The Observer
WALLOWA — Enterprise kicked off the 2012-13 season with an inter-county contest against rival Wallowa Wednesday.
The Outlaws used a big first half to grab the lead but had to hold off the Cougars late for a 61-46 victory.
It was apparent early on that it was the season opener for both teams, as the first quarter featured sloppy play on both ends.
Wallowa got on the board first before Enterprise went on a 9-4 run to end the quarter, finishing it on a lay-in by Blu Risseeuw to put the Outlaws on top 9-6 after the first eight minutes.
“We’re a young team with a lot of inexperience,” Wallowa coach Warren Wilson said.
“I wanted to use a lot of combinations to see what works.”
Things picked up in the second quarter — for Enterprise, anyway.
A three-point play by Risseeuw started the quarter and stretched the Outlaws’ lead to 12-6.
After Wallowa cut it to 12-9, Enterprise went on a 10-0 run to go up 22-9.
A 9-0 run a couple minutes later made it a 31-11 Outlaw advantage.
EHS took a 33-12 lead into the locker room at halftime.
“We have a bunch of kids that have never played before,” Enterprise coach Steve Lear said.
“But we showed that we can go on runs at times.”
It was Wallowa that found its rhythm in the third quarter.
The Cougars used a 6-0 spurt out of the gates to gain momentum and got within 10 points at 35-25 behind a 13-2 run to start the quarter.
The teams traded baskets the rest of the quarter and Enterprise led 43-31 heading to the fourth.
Wallowa continued to hang around and got within nine points at 49-40 on a Wes Conrad three-pointer midway through the quarter.
“Wallowa started shooting,” Lear said of how the Cougars got back in it.
“We stopped denying No. 1 (Conrad) the ball and he’s a great shooter.”
An Aaron Wallace jumper with three minutes left cut it to 51-43.
But for every Wallowa run the Outlaws had an answer.
Enterprise scored six straight points to go up 57-43 and killed any chance for a Cougar comeback.
Kaden Lathrop led the Outlaws with 17 points, while Risseeuw, a senior transfer from Elgin, added 12. Damon Greenshields chipped in 10.
Conrad had a game-high 25 points, including four three-pointers.
Pierce Millar and Wallace each had six, and Mason Hafer added four.
“I know these kids. I’ve been coaching them a long time, and I know they will get better,” Lear said.
“We’re all trying to get better. But I think if we can get these type of results in league then we can go a long ways.”
Wilson liked his team’s effort against Enterprise and thinks that going up against biggers schools will help the Cougars in the long run.
“It’s good for the kids to play higher competition,” the coach said.
The Cougars will play at the Bouncin’ Cancer Tournament in Hermiston this weekend where they will face off with two more Blue Mountain Conference teams.
Wallowa will play Pilot Rock today and Stanfield Saturday.
Enterprise competes at the Ione Basketball Bonanza where it will face Riverside at 4:30 today.