MOSES LAKE – The Oroville boys basketball team got a big boost Saturday, Dec. 10, as C.J. Mathews returned to the Hornets’ lineup for the first time this season.
The Hornets (3-2) claimed a 61-47 victory at Columbia Basin Secondary School in Moses Lake as Zack Speiker scored a season-high 20 points.
Mathews, recovering from a broken wrist suffered late in the football season, played about 12 minutes and scored eight points.
“With C.J. on the floor, he opens up the game for other players and improves our rebounding greatly,” said Oroville coach Allen Allie.
Michael Garrett added 17 points and Connor Hughes had 10.
Allie said defense was a big factor as the Hornets’ pressure resulted in a number of turnovers and steals.
Though Mathews rejoined the lineup, Luke Kindred exited it for awhile to allow an injured ankle to heal.
“We’ll be sitting him out awhile,” Allie said. “We’ll need him most come league time.
“Overall we played well, but we still need to reduce our turnovers.”
Okanogan 78, Oroville 35
OKANOGAN – The Okanogan boys basketball team hopes to contend for the Caribou Trail League title this year.
The Oroville Hornets got a close up and personal look at why on Thursday, Dec. 8, falling behind 21-3 in the first quarter on the way to a 78-35 loss.
“We played a very poor game,” Allie said. “Our kids were a bit intimidated by the Okanogan team.
“We were outmatched at every position and Okanogan has good pressure defense. We just couldn’t get good shots without Okanogan contesting every one. Our defense was slow and couldn’t stop the penetration of the Okanogan guards.”
The inside-outside combination of Marty Staggs and Joe Townsend put the Hornets in a hole in a hurry as each scored eight points in the opening quarter.
Townsend finished with 26 points, Staggs had 18 and Jimmy Townsend scored 10 for the Bulldogs.
Michael Garrett came into the game averaging nearly 33 points a contest, but managed just 13 against the Bulldogs’ defense. Connor Hughes added seven points as the Hornets fell to 2-2.
Oroville 82, South Okanagan, B.C. 74
OROVILLE – The Hornets avenged a 22-point defeat suffered last year at the hands of the Canadian squad from South Okanagan of Oliver, B.C. with a come-from-behind 82-74 victory over the “other” Hornets.
Oroville trailed 59-56 heading to the fourth quarter, but Michael Garrett scored 11 of his 35 points in the fourth quarter as the Hornets went on a 26-15 run over the final eight minutes.
“We played our best game to date, with more balanced scoring,” Allie said. “The team’s defense is making the difference and getting better every game.”
Allie added that his team outrebounded the much taller South Okanagan squad.
Connor Hughes scored 20 points and Zack Speiker added 17 for Oroville.
Amit Chahal scored 27 and Gurkamal Dhaliwal added 17 for South Okanagan.