Scrappy Dufur inches ahead to last 1A state spot

Dufur Ranger players worked to get a close 41-38 victory over Arlington in Saturday’s 1A Big Sky Conference third place contest for the final No. 3 state playoff spot. In the photo are, from left to right, starting in the back row, Alex Barrett, Abraham Kilby, Trey Darden, Cooper Bales, Tanner Masterson, Cole Kortge, Daniel Radcliffe and Derek Frakes. In the front row are, from left, Tyson Byers, Jacob Peters and Peyton Neal. Not Pictured: Caleb Olson, Tabor McLaughlin, assistant coaches C.S. Little and Justin Bales and head coach Hollie Darden.

MADRAS — Dufur and Arlington were playing to continue their seasons in Saturday’s third place district matchup, and the Rangers received a spark from some unheralded players to come out on top.

Jacob Peters and Cole Kortge scored two baskets, Daniel Radcliffe drained a pair of free throws and the Dufur defense held Arlington without a field goal on its last three possessions to pick up a 41-38 triumph to secure the third and final state playoff spot in Saturday’s boys basketball battle in Madras.

“You always tell your players to be ready to play because you never know when they will be put in the lineup,” Dufur head coach Hollie Darden said. “We had a couple of our young guys come in and make some big plays on both sides of the court, which was a great thing to see as a coach.”

The Rangers led by as much as 16-5 midway through the second quarter and Arlington regained the lead at 36-35 with 4:24 left in the final period after a layup by Wesley Goad.

Then Dufur grabbed the lead back following a steal and a jumper from Peters, and then Kortge hit a layup with 2:27 remaining to make it a 39-36 cushion.

Radcliffe finished with 13 points, eight rebounds and three blocks, Trey Darden went for 11 points, eight boards, two blocks and two steals; and Cooper Bales added seven points, 11 rebounds, four assists and three steals.

Arlington made 11 of 46 field goals, 3 of 19 from long range, as Goad led with 12 points, 10 rebounds and four blocks. Jacob Shandy chipped in 11 points and five rebounds, and Jace Troutman tallied eight points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.

In Friday’s first district tilt, Sherman and Dufur struggled in all aspects of shooting, but the No. 1 Huskies grabbed a 38-30 win to earn a title berth.

Both teams combined to shoot 24 of 79 on field goals, 3 of 26 from threes and 17 of 39 free throws.

Sherman led 18-14 at the half and went on 10-5 third-quarter run to jump ahead, 28-19 and once led 37-25 at one point in the second half.

Wade Fields led Sherman with 10 points, Caleb Fritts added nine, Keenan Coles dropped eight points and 10 rebounds, Luke Martin was good for four points, seven rebounds and three assists and Owen Christiansen chipped in four points and five boards.

Radcliffe poured in 10 points and four rebounds; Derek Frakes scored eight points and six rebounds; Bales added six points and three assists and Trey Darden notched four points and three rebounds.

Both teams combined for 32 fouls, 20 on Dufur, and Sherman had 12 turnovers to Dufur’s 11.

No. 13 Dufur (16-9) was in Joseph Tuesday for a state sub-round matchup.

Earlier in the year, the Rangers misfired on 1 of 6 second-half free throws and were outscored 34-26 in the second half in a 60-55 final.

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