DUFUR – The Dufur Rangers had an eight-point halftime lead, and a 48-43 advantage entering the fourth quarter, but turnovers and rebounding spurred an 18-7 fourth-quarter rally by Powder Valley in a 61-55 boys’ basketball victory Saturday at Dufur High School.
“Ball control and giving them extra possessions was the big difference,” said Dufur head coach Ron Townsend. “We had the lead for most of the way and we had a chance to do a couple of more things, but then we would turn the ball over, trying to make cross-court passes on the break, when there wasn’t anything there. Then we got out-manned on the boards. You can’t let a good team like Powder Valley have five shots, because eventually they are going to make one.”
In the first two periods, Curtis Crawford scored eight points, Daniel Radcliffe added seven and Tanner Masterson hit for six points, as the Rangers went on runs of 15-13 and 19-13 to take a 34-28 lead at the break.
Powder Valley finished the third quarter down by five points, at 48-43, following a 17-14 spurt, with six field goals, three 3-pointers.
Dufur managed six baskets and two free throws, as Radcliffe and Crawford notched six points apiece, and both Derek Frakes and Anthony Thomas netted layups.
Only Abraham Kilby and Crawford tallied fourth-quarter baskets, Jackie Culps went 2 for 2 from the line and Thomas canned a free throw, but Powder Valley’s Omar Benites dropped eight points and Hunter Davis and Moziss Nesser chipped in five points each to complete the fourth-quarter rally.
All told, Davis dropped 14 points and the trio of Benites, Nesser and Tanner Eubanks added 11 points apiece to lead the Badgers (2-1 overall).
Powder Valley totaled 23 field goals, four 3-pointers and converted 11 of 22 free throws, 8 of 14 in the second half.
Dufur finished with 21 field goals, one 3-pointer, and went 12 of 20 on free throws, but only mustered eight second-half baskets and 5 of 6 from the line.
Crawford scored 14 points, Radcliffe tacked on 13 and Thomas, Masterson and Frakes went off for six points each.
“Right now, we are really trying to establish an inside presence and then work to the outside,” Townsend said. “So, we got to try to get posted up and then when they get doubled and tripled in there, we got to be able to pop it out to guys to, hopefully, make a shot or two, when we have some time. Our problem is we don’t have guys that can shoot the ball really well off the dribble from three, so we need to try to figure out something so that they can get the open shots that they can hit.”
Still just five games into the preseason schedule, the Rangers have four more non-league contests until the start of Big Sky conference action on Jan. 5 at home versus Ione.
Once some injured players return and the team gets consistent practice time, coach Townsend feels better days are ahead.
“If they’ll continue to work, listen and try to do what we want them to do, I think they can be pretty good,” Townsend said. “I thought we showed that for three and a half quarters today, where we can compete with a playoff-type team. But, we got a ways to go. They got to continue to improve, they got to continue to work on the things that they need to, and I have got to figure out a rotation that works best for us.”
Dufur (1-4) heads to Klickitat, Wash. for a non-league contest at 6 p.m. tonight and then hosts the two-day Ranger Tournament starting at 7:30 p.m. on Friday against North Lake High School.