The Imbler Panthers boys basketball team put together a nearly flawless offensive effort in the second quarter to take a five-point lead into the half against rival Union Friday.
The Bobcats, though, upped the defensive effort in the second half and hit some key shots late to come away with a 47-39 victory over Imbler at home.
“A talk at halftime,” Union Head Coach Dan Daggett said of what changed in the second half, when the Bobcats limited Imbler to 10 points. “I told them flat out either play defense or I’m rotating you (to the bench). They came out and played how they can play instead of watching the game.”
Gannon Carreiro, who had 11 points and eight rebounds, played a big role late in helping Union fend off the Panthers. His rebound and putback gave the Bobcats the lead for good at 36-35 with 3:38 left.
He followed with the dagger about 90 seconds later, draining a corner 3-pointer with two minutes to go for a 41-37 advantage.
“I just said we (had) to put the game in our hands, take it slow, make sure our possessions are of value and not turn the ball over,” Carreiro said of the team’s play late. “When I came down for the 3, I just had it in my mind that I had to make it if we wanted to keep the lead.”
A steal and layup by Keegan Glenn on the next possession pushed the lead to six and effectively iced the win for the Bobcats.
Imbler had built a 29-24 lead at the break thanks to an efficient first half — and specifically a second quarter in which the ball rarely missed the basket. The Panthers, who shot 55 percent in the first half, scored 19 points in the second and hit at a 70-percent clip to surge ahead. They scored the final six points of the half with a Ryan Patterson drive to cap the run.
That all changed after halftime. Imbler was limited to just one third-quarter field goal — a Will Coston layup with three minutes left in the period — while Union found a spark from Glenn, who scored six of his game-high 13 points in the third to give Union a 34-31 lead.
Imbler took the lead back midway through the fourth quarter on a Grant Slater putback and a drive to the basket by Jayce Burnette for a 35-34 lead before Union finished the win off.
Imbler Head Coach Tony Haddock said his squad lost its “aggressiveness” in the second half, and added the players’ lack of experience in late-game situations hurt.
“You can tell from a close game standpoint, those guys (Union) have been in that situation before and are used to being in it,” he said. “We haven’t been in a lot of close game situations.”
Jace Phillips added eight points for Union, which won despite shooting 28 percent from the floor. The Bobcats helped their cause with a 34-17 rebounding edge. Tate Lantis had 10 of those boards and added four steals.
Imbler was led by Coston and Wyatt Whitaker, both of whom scored 11 points, while Slater added seven points. Slater also had four steals. The Panthers shot 41 percent but hurt themselves with 25 turnovers and a 6-for-14
effort from the free-throw line.
Outlaws’ rally falls short
The Enterprise Outlaws boys basketball team got within two points in the fourth quarter, but couldn’t draw even and hurt itself with 25 turnovers in a 68-60 loss to the Condon/Wheeler Knights Friday at the Les Schwab Shootout in Pendleton.
Enterprise hung with the Knights most of the contest and trailed just 38-35 at the half. But Condon/Wheeler pushed its lead to 52-44 after three, and Enterprise missed out on a chance late in the game to get closer than two.
Devin Greer led the Outlaws with 18 points. Timmy Wells added 12, and Riley Masters scored 11.
Hunter Winslow scored 24 points to lead Condon/Wheeler.
Pirates raid Eagles
The Joseph Eagles boys basketball team struggled to find its offense in a 48-33 road loss to the Perrydale Pirates Friday in Amity.
The Eagles earned just nine points in a low-scoring opening half that ended with them trailing 16-9. Both teams woke up in the third quarter, which ended with Perrydale up 32-25, before the Pirates pulled away.
Chase Murray and Tyler Homan both scored nine points to lead Joseph, while Mason Ferré added five points.
Kyler Thorson led Perrydale with 15 points.
Badgers slip by Union
The Powder Valley Badgers boys basketball team shook off a rough first quarter to pull away for a 61-55 win over the Union Bobcats Saturday night in North Powder.
The Badgers scored just six points in the first quarter but cut their deficit to 28-24 by halftime and took over the lead after three quarters, 45-42.
Moziss Nesser had 16 points and 12 rebounds to lead four Powder Valley players in double figures. Ethan Stephens added 13 points, and both Dominick Grende and Roper Bingham scored 10 points.
Keegan Glenn led Union with 22 points. Tate Lantis had 15 points, and Gannon Carreiro scored 10 points.
The Badgers (7-3 overall) head to Prairie City Wednesday, while the Bobcats (8-3) host Pilot Rock in a Blue Mountain Conference battle Friday.
Panthers topple Outlaws in Pendleton
The Enterprise Outlaws boys basketball team were knocked off by the Prairie City Panthers for the second time this season, falling 59-42 at the Les Schwab Shootout Saturday in Pendleton.
The Outlaws fell behind by double digits in the first half and were unable to recover. Enterprise scored just seven second-quarter points and was down 35-21 at the half. It pulled within 12 points after three quarters before the Panthers pulled away.
Dylan Marr had 12 points to lead Enterprise, while Timmy Wells scored eight and Devin Greer added seven.
Levi Burke led the Panthers with 25 points.
Enterprise (6-7 overall) hosts Grant Union in a Blue Mountain Conference matchup Friday.
Eagles stop losing streak
The Joseph Eagles boys basketball team ended their three-game, three-day road trip on a positive note with a 59-46 victory against the Country Christian Cougars Saturday in Molalla.
One day after the offense struggled in a loss to Perrydale, the Eagles found their stride. They scored 19 points in the opening quarter and took a 34-24 lead into the half that saw them score more than they did in their Friday loss.
Their lead was trimmed to 45-39 after three quarters, but they did enough down the stretch to pull away for the win.
Tyler Homan led all scorers with 18 points for Joseph. Both Hadley Miller and Mason Ferré added 11 points.
Howie Long led the Cougars with 17 points.
Joseph (7-5 overall) travels to Griswold Friday to begin Old Oregon League play.
Imbler gets a win in defensive contest
The Imbler Panthers boys basketball team got back in the win column, taking a defensive battle against the Wallowa Cougars on Saturday, 31-26, in Wallowa.
Imbler kept Wallowa off the scoreboard in the opening quarter, and went into the half holding a 14-8 advantage. The margin inched to seven after three quarters, and the Panthers held on in the final quarter, despite going 3-for-15 from the free-throw line in the period.
Will Coston scored eight points to lead Imbler. Isaac Herron added six points and three players all chipped in with four points.
Christopher Nobles scored 10 points to lead Wallowa, while Tristin Bales added eight points.
The Panthers (3-6 overall) host Pine Eagle Friday, while the Cougars (3-7) host Elgin Friday. Both games are Old Oregon League contests.