The Sherman Huskies fell behind 20-9 after one quarter, and battled back to within four points late in the fourth quarter, but the Dufur Rangers hit some late shots and fought off the rally to preserve a 71-57 victory Friday in Big Sky Conference boy’s basketball play at Dufur High School.
“Dufur came out in the first quarter and shot the ball very well and crashed the offensive boards very well,” said Sherman head coach Bill Blevins. “I thought we executed the offense well enough to get some very good looks at the basket that just didn’t go in. (My) hat’s off to Dufur shooting so well.”
Down by 11 points after the first quarter, the Rangers began to chip away at the lead with outputs of 20-17 and 15-13 to make it 50-44 with one frame still to play.
The Huskies sank 24 field goals, four from long range, and hit 5 of 6 free throws, as Austin Kaseberg busted loose once again for a season-high 36 points.
Senior guard Ben Holliday added eight points.
For the Rangers, Caleb Morris netted 25 points, Bryson Caldwell tallied 19 and Jake Kortge was good for 13 points.
Freshman point guard Bailey Keever rounded out the statistical leaders with 11 points.
All told, Dufur hit 29 baskets, six from 3-point territory and notched 7 for 11 free throws.
“Our boys are learning how to play in close games,” said Dufur head coach Tony White. “The first game in a while I started seeing our offense take that next step in execution. We led wire-to-wire, but Sherman kept making runs at us. They have a great group of kids.”
The Rangers (12-5 overall, 6-3 league) Lowell Saturday, and then they host No. 1-ranked Horizon Christian (17-1, 9-0) at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.
Sherman (9-9, 3-4) was in Helix Saturday., and they host SWC at 7:30 p.m. Tuesday.