Pioneer boys' rally falls short in Heppner

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HEPPNER — By the time Mac-Hi narrowed Heppner’s lead to a single possession, it was too late.

Jake Knight’s 3-point basket at the final buzzer drew the Pioneers to within two points as they suffered a 59-57 defeat at the hands of host Heppner in the first round of a boys holiday basketball tournament here Monday night. The loss dropped Mac-Hi’s season record to 3-6.

"The final score is a little misleading," Pioneers coach Nick Ellis said. "We dug ourselves a hole (19-11) in the first quarter and could never quite get over the top. We were never able to get it to a single possession until Jake’s 3-pointer."

Knight finished with 10 points and was one of four Pioneers in double figures. Will Riley led the way with 17 points, Nick Stanford added 14 and Ryley Croghan joined Knight with 10 points.

The Mustangs also had four scorers in double figures. Jared Huddleston and Cody Orr led with 15 points each, Bryan Holland tallied 14 and Chris Lien chipped in with 10 points.

"The positive coming out of this game is that we shot the ball really well," Ellis said. The Pioneers were 22-for-54 overall and kept in the game by sinking 9-of-20 shots from 3-point distance.

"But we were a step slow on defense," Ellis said, noting that the Mustangs connected on 21-of-35 2-point field goal attempts and made 3-of-12 3-pointers.

The Pioneers are now matched against Dufur in today’s 2:30 p.m. tournament consolation game. Dufur lost to Grant Union in Monday’s opener.

Ellis is a 1973 graduate of Dufur High, and this is the first basketball matchup between the two schools in Ellis’ 15 seasons in the Pioneer basketball program.

"The problem is, 1973 was a long time ago," Ellis said. "I don’t even recognize any of the names."

MAC-HI (57) — Knight 3 2-2 10, Stanford 5 0-0 14, Croghan 4 0-0 10, Riley 7 2-2 17, Conley 2 0-0 4, K. Brown 1 0-0 2. Totals 22 4-4 57.

HEPPNER (59) — Hedman 0 0-0 0, Holland 5 2-2 14, Lien 5 0-1 10, Beckman 2 1-1 5, Orr 6 3-4 15, Huddleston 6 2-2 15. Totals 24 8-10 59.

Mac-Hi 11 14 12 20 — 57

Heppner 19 8 19 13 — 59

3-point goals — Mac-Hi (Knight 2, Stanford 4, Croghan 2, Riley), Heppner (Holland 2, Huddleston). Total fouls — Mac-Hi 15, Heppner 8. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Mac-Hi 20 (Knight 4, Conley 4, K. Brown 4), Heppner 20 (Huddletston 6, Orr 6). Turnovers — Heppner 14, Mac-Hi 12.

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