The rising season showed this past weekend for the first place Dufur Rangers, as they went 2-1 at the 1A Hoops Classic Tournament this past weekend in Portland to secure third place.
After losing 53-42 on Friday to eventual tournament champion, Triangle Lake, to drop into consolation play, the Rangers hit the hardwood against Hosanna Christian, coming away with a 66-46 triumph.
“[It was a] great springboard for my kids heading into league,” said Dufur head coach Tony White. “The boys played well at the tournament.”
On Thursday in their tournament opener, the Ranger got off to a winning start with a 69-34 win Thursday night over Spray.
In that game, Dufur jumped out to a 31-18 halftime lead, and delivered the knockout blow on the heels of a 21-7 spurt in the third frame to move ahead by a 52-25 advantage.
“Initial pressure helped us on defense,” White said. “We had some issues with lay-ins and foul trouble early, but finished much better in the second half. We executed very well in our half court sets and did a pretty good job on the boards.”
Jake Kortge led with 15 points, Caleb Morris swished 14, Bryson Caldwell added 12 and Connor Uhalde made good for 10 points.
On Friday against Triangle Lake, the Rangers fell behind 26-15 at the break and used a 17-10 spurt in the third period to creep to within a 36-32 margin, and dropped the lead to as little as two possessions until the final two minutes, but the Lakers made the plays to grab a 53-42 win.
Caldwell scored 14 points and Kortge added 10 to lead the Ranger offense.
“We started out tight tonight and got behind early,” White said. “Triangle Lake has some very athletic kids that gave us some trouble. The kids left it all on the court. We shoot a little better and we steal that one. It was a great game for them.”
Dufur (6-2 overall, 1-0 league) hits the road at 7:30 p.m. Friday for a game against Helix (3-5, 1-0).
After that, the Rangers host a streaking Nixyaawii (8-3, 2-0) team at 5:30 p.m. Saturday.