PENDLETON - Little things mean a lot - especially in a two-point basketball game.
Weston-McEwen's TigerScots found that out the hard way here Wednesday afternoon in the opening game of the boys Oregon Class 2A state basketball tournament in the Pendleton Convention Center.
Enterprise, one of W-M's rivals in the Blue Mountain Conference, rallied and rallied and finally overtook the TigerScots for a 59-57 victory to advance to Friday afternoon's semifinals against Western Mennonite, a 61-34 first-round victor over North Douglas.
Wednesday's tourney opener was the fourth meeting of the season between Enterprise and W-M, and the Outlaws are now victorious in three of them as they raised their season record to 22-3.
Weston-McEwen, which split a pair of regular-season games with Enterprise before losing to the Outlaws in the district championship game on this very same floor, saw its record slip to 19-7.
And the TigerScots didn't have long to contemplate Wednesday's disappointing loss. Weston-McEwen was back here this morning at 9 against North Douglas in the tournament's first loser-out game.
"We've got to get them home, get them some sleep and then get them back here tomorrow morning," TigerScots coach Brian Pickard said in a quiet hallway outside the TigerScots' quiet locker room. "But I'm not worried. They'll show up. They don't want to go two-and-out."
Pickard said he planned to get some sleep, too - "maybe" - even if it meant counting missed free throws and personal fouls instead of sheep. He got a head start on that Wednesday afternoon.
"We shoot 6-for-16 from the line," he said, shaking his head in disbelief. "We shoot 74 percent for the season, and this was a two-point game."
Pickard also watched his team send the Outlaws to the free-throw line 27 times where they cashed in 18 points. Meanwhile, his three top scorers were all in foul trouble by the third quarter.
"It makes it a little hard to play," Pickard said, "when you've got your best scorers sitting on the bench next to you. I thought we played some pretty good defense in the first half, but we got a little lazy in the second half and made some stupid fouls.
The TigerScots did manage a 35-34 advantage on the backboards. But there were some critical breakdowns late in the game.
"We gave up four offensive rebounds in the last two minutes," Pickard said. "It seems like in the last two minutes they got all the hustle plays.
"It was just a lot of little things."
After trailing by a point, 11-10, at the end of the first quarter, Weston-McEwen assumed a 23-19 halftime lead. And after building the advantage to 30-21 - the largest lead either team enjoyed - early in the second half and then withstanding a pair of Enterprise surges, the TigerScots went to the fourth quarter leading 38-36.
The final eight minutes were furious.
Back-to-back buckets by Aaron Speed - one on a rebound, the other at the end of a fast break - and another rebound basket by Ron Terjeson gave the TigerScots a trio of three-point leads. But two free throws by Marcus Lynn and Jared Micka's fast break layin put the Outlaws on top for the first since the first quarter, 45-44, with 4:15 remaining in the game.
Enterprise led by four points, 50-46, on Chaunce Galletly's basket with 3:25 to play, and then by five points, 53-48, when Matt Perren drove the lane, drew a foul and converted the three-point play with 1:57 to play.
Tyler Babb responded with a layin for the TigerScots. And after an Enterprise turnover, Dallas Reich sank a long, contested 3-pointer that tied the game at 53-53 with, you guessed it, 53 seconds to play.
But Tyler Micka's basket 13 seconds later put the Outlaws back on top. And a Weston-McEwen turnover with 30.6 seconds to play put the TigerScots in a bad spot.
Kyle Stangel's two free throws with 20.3 seconds showing put the Outlaws up 57-53 and made it a two-possession game. Babb went coast-to-coast for an uncontested layin that sliced the lead in half, but Lynn made 1-of-2 free throws with 13.1 seconds to play and then duplicated the feat three seconds later after collaring an offensive rebound.
Terjeson's rebound basket with two seconds remaining accounted for Weston-McEwen's final two points. But with no timeouts remaining, the TigerScots could only watch as clock turnover over to double zero.
Lynn, who sank 10-of-13 free throws, led Enterprise with 16 points and the Micka twins followed, with Jared scoring 13 and Tyler 12.
Babb led Weston-McEwen with 17 points, Reich added 16 and Thul was in double figures with 13. Reich and starting guard Elliot Salter fouled out in the game's final minute.
In Wednesday's lower bracket, Central Linn topped Stanfield 76-71 and Knapp beat Days Creek 74-57. Stanfield faced Days Creek here this morning in loser-out play while Central Linn and Knappa move on to Friday afternoon's semifinals.
The tournament's trophy round is scheduled for Saturday.
ENTERPRISE (59) - T. Micka 4-8 2-5 12, J. Micka 5-9 1-2 13, Stangel 3-53-4 9, Lynn 3-9 10-13 16, Parren 2-6 2-3 6, Galletly 1-8 1-2 3, Sajonia 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 18-47 18-27 59
WESTON-MCEWEN (57) - Thul 6-13 1-4 13, Terjeson 2-4 0-0 4, Babb 7-12 3-4 17, Reich 6-19 2-3 16, Elliot 0-2 0-0 0, Speed 3-7 0-3 7, Christopher 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 24-59 6-16 57.
Enterprise 11 8 17 23 - 59
Weston-McEwen 10 13 15 19 - 57
3-point goals - Enterprise 5-12 (T. Micka 2-4, J. Micka 2-4, Lynn 0-1, Galletly 1-2, Sajonia 0-1), W-M 3-10 (Thul 0-3, Reich 2-5, Speed 1-1, Christopher 0-1). Total fouls - W-M 20, Enterprise 16. Fouled out - Enterprise (Galletly), W-M (Reich, Salter). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - W-M 35 (Terjeson 8, Reich 8), Enterprise 34 (Galletly 9). Turnovers - Enterprise 16, W-M 16. Assists - W-M 11 (Thul 4), Enterprise 7 (J. Micka 2, Galletly 2).