Having to stay on a winning arc in order to successfully earmark a district berth, the Sherman Huskies stumbled out of the blocks a bit, but managed to find a groove in the final 24 minutes of play to cruise past Central Christian by a 60-21 margin Thursday in Big Sky Conference boy’s basketball play in Moro.
It was a difficult start for the Huskies as the first quarter ended with a 9-6 lead, but the offense started flowing more seamlessly in the second period, as an eight-point effort from Isaiah Coles sparked a 17-7 output to swell the lead out to 26-13 at halftime.
Once getting their bearings going after a locker room talk, the Huskies burst out with a fiery passion, using a 23-2 run on eight points apiece from Austin Kaseberg and Max Martin to land the knockout blow for a 49-15 advantage with one quarter still left to play.
“We didn’t come out as I had hoped and needed to regroup in the middle quarters to take control,” said Sherman head coach Bill Blevins.
From the floor, the Huskies sank 23 field goals, seven from long distance and they added a perfect 7 for 7 split from the free throw line.
Kaseberg and Martin each finished with 13 points and six rebounds apiece, and senior forward Ben Holliday tacked on nine points and a team-high seven boards.
For the White Tigers, Caleb Stuart led the way with six points, as the squad doled out eight field goals and a 6 for 14 effort from the line.
“Central played with a lot of heart and made us work for the win,” Blevins said. “We play our fourth game in five days at Horizon tomorrow (Friday). We’re hoping to have something left in the gas tank.”
With the postseason still within grasp, the Huskies have been thoroughly tested in the last portion of the schedule with three games in the past four days, all wins. No. 20-ranked Sherman (13-9 overall, 4-3 league) hits the floor at 7:30 p.m. tonight in Hood River for a contest against No. 1 Horizon Christian (18-1, 5-0).
On the flip side, the No. 23 Dufur Rangers (13-7, 3-4), who are in a fight for the last district spot with Sherman, head to Maupin for a 7:30 p.m. date tonight versus No. 17 South Wasco County (12-8, 3-2).
If the Rangers lose, they are eliminated from playoff contention.
If Dufur beats SWC and Sherman is upended by Horizon, then both teams will hit the hardwood in a tiebreaker game at 6 p.m. Monday at Kurtz Gym in The Dalles.