MILTON-FREEWATER - A 22-8 first-quarter run sank host Mac-Hi into a 14-point deficit early against Touchet in boys basketball play here Wednesday night as the Indians downed the Pioneers, 55-41.
"That sums up a lot of our games," Mac-Hi coach Curtis Carlson said. "We have so many bad decisions and turnovers early in each that we get into a big hole that we can't come back from. We don't have enough scorers where we can climb back out of the hole."
Possibly bad decision-making by Mac-Hi and good decisions by Touchet could have been the difference in the game.
"Tonight, we were more disciplined, we had better shot selection and we were more patient," Touchet coach Tim McKeown said. "I knew that Mac-Hi would pressure us, and they did. We did our backdoor cuts and got some easy shots."
The Indians had a balanced scoring attack of five players with six or more points. The top scorer was Connor McKeown with 16 points, including four shots from downtown.
Eric Hines added 11 points and nine rebounds.
"Connor has been working hard on his shot," McKeown said. "Tonight, he found his shooters' groove. If he can maintain that confidence, he should balance out our court a little bit."
McKeown had good things to say about Hines too.
"Eric is my guy that has been in the system for his fourth year now, and he feels that a lot of it falls on his shoulders," he said. "He is definitely the team captain and motivator. I'm glad he had a really good game and he needs to keep that up."
Touchet's Colter McKeown and Elias Martinez added nine points apiece.
Top scorer for Mac-Hi was 6-foot-5 junior Derek Richwine. He grabbed five boards and dropped in 16 points from his center position.
"I've been trying to go to the post every game," Carlson said. "I've been trying to make it a point. We have a good athlete (Richwine) down there and we've been trying to get him the ball. Sometimes we just get to the point where we can't get him the ball because of how many turnovers we have."
Off the bench was Mac-Hi's leading rebounder, post Tyler Williams, with eight boards and three blocks.
The Pioneers' Jeremy Ley added nine points, two assists and three steals against constant full-court pressure of the Indians.
The Pioneers jumped out to a 4-0 and 6-4 lead early in the first quarter. That was before they would be buried by an 18-2 Touchet run for the final four minutes of the first stanza.
During that stretch, the Indians' Connor McKeown was the top scorer with two 3-pointers and a layup for eight points. Four Indian steals keyed the defensive effort during that span. Octavio Preciado and Eric Hines added four points apiece in that stretch.
Throughout all of the Pioneers' efforts to keep it close early, Richwine would scored 13 of the teams' first 25 points and then sit with foul trouble.
The score at halftime was 34-21 Indians.
After the first quarter, the game stayed virtually even in scoring without any points added to the Indian lead in the final tally at the end of the game.
The Pioneers are now 0-7 in the preseason and Touchet is 3-5.
Mac-Hi plays again Tuesday at Irrigon at 7:30 p.m.
Touchet next plays again Jan. 4. at home against Liberty Christian.
Touchet 55, Mac-Hi 41
TOUCHET (55) - Carson 0 0-0 0, Martinez 4 3-6 11, Con. McKeown 5 2-2 16, Col. McKeown 4 0-4 9, Preciado 3 0-2 6, Hines 4 3-4 11. Totals - 22 8-18 55.
MAC-HI (41) - Richwine 7 2-5 16, Ley 3 2-2 9, Sandoval 0 1-4 1, Ortiz 2 0-2 4, Shuler 0 4-5 4, McElrath 1 0-0 2, Hinton 1 0-0 2, Sheets 0 0-0 0, Hernandez 1 1-1 3. Totals - 15 10-19 41.
Touchet 22 12 10 11 - 55
Mac-Hi 8 13 8 12 - 41
3-point goals - Tou 5 (Con. McKeown 4, Col. McKeown), Mac-Hi 1 (Ley). Total fouls - Tou 12, Mac-Hi 13. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Tou 14 (Hines 9), Mac-Hi 28 (Williams 8). Turnovers - Tou 18, Mac-Hi 15. Assists - Tou 7 (Martinez 2), Mac-Hi 8 (Shuler 3).