The McLoughlin High Pioneers thought they’d travel the Outlaw Trail as a shortcut, but instead, were gunned down and sent back home at the hands of the Enterprise High School girls and boys teams. The twin victories took place at Quinn Court on Jan 4.
The Outlaws boys stopped a six-game slide with a convincing 45-37 win over the Pioneers. Mac High won two previous contests with the Outlaws this year.
“It feels good to have gotten this game,” said coach Larry Wells. “We finally put some things together that worked last night. It was great to get that at home.”
No one scored in double-digits, but eight players scored points in the contest. Dylan Marr led the effort with nine points.
“He had great confidence and played a good game,” said Wells. He added that with eight players scoring points, the team’s offense was beginning to gel.
The team attacked the Pioneers with a new offense, which helped the Outlaws neutralize their opponent’s 2-3 zone defense.
“It was something different, a little more aggressive,” Wells said. “It gave us a different look.”
Wells added that the team was in better physical condition, which will help down the stretch.
The game was tight from the get-go, with neither team able to establish a foothold. The end of the third quarter saw the game tied at 34. The Outlaws turned up the defensive pressure, holding the over-matched Pioneers to just three points while scoring 11 to put the game away.
The coach said that he hoped the team can apply the lessons they learned during their rigorous preseason schedule and apply them to league play, which begins Jan. 13 at Elgin.
“We ended the preseason on a pretty good note, and we’re sitting in a pretty good position,” Wells said. “If we can focus on our Elgin game coming up and take care of them, things will look good for the season.”
The win left the Outlaws with a 4-7 preseason record.
The Outlaws ladies continued their winning ways, easily creaming McLoughlin, 61-38, with the aid of hot shooting irons in the persons of Riley Gray, Karli Bedard and Shelby Moncrief. The trio put up 16, 13 and 12 points, respectively. Bedard shot a smoking 55 percent from the field while Moncrief was 2-for-2 outside the paint.
The ladies had some struggles in the first half. They led 12-8 after the first quarter and 26-18 at the half. The Outlaws led by 13 going into the fourth quarter and never looked back.
Coach Mike Crawford said that it was the third time his team had faced the Pioneers this season, and he had seen progress but not enough to mount a serious challenge to the Outlaws’ dominance.
“We’re playing really well right now,” he said.
Crawford noted that he played all 12 players on his squad in the fourth quarter. In fact, only two players on the team’s roster were scoreless.
“It was fun. Anytime I get to play all my kids it’s good.”
The win saw the ladies move to a 9-2 preseason record and ranked seventh in the state 2A rankings.