BULLDOGS GUARD CARTER CUNNINGHAM KEEPS BILLIES MAX SMITH OUT OF THE KEY DURING THE FIRST QUARTER OF THE CRESWELL VS PLEASANT HILL MATCHUP ON JAN. 22. THE CRESWELL BULLDOGS LOST TO THE PLEASANT HILL BILLIES 35-55 AND HAVE A CURRENT OVERALL SEASON RECORD OF 10-7. Christopher Palanuk / The Creswell Chronicle
Poor perimeter shooting plagued the Creswell Bulldogs as they fell 35-55 to visiting Pleasant Hill on Jan. 22, and bested host La Pine 49-39 on Jan. 23 for a 3-3 record in Mountain Valley Conference boys’ basketball standings, with three weeks of regular league play remaining.
Against sixth-ranked Pleasant Hill, the score was tied 11-11 at the end of the first quarter, but the Billies outscored the Bulldogs 19-10 in the second to take a 30-21 halftime lead, and after that it was all Pleasant Hill, all the way.
Creswell managed just six points in the third quarter for a 27-44 deficit and eight points in the fourth quarter for the 20-point final deficit.
”We actually got off to a good start – we were up 7-1 early,” noted Creswell Head Coach Jesse Thomas. ”But we were ice-cold from three; we were 0-for-17 for the game.”
Tayler Forsman led Creswell with seven points and four rebounds. Tyler Frieze had six points and four rebounds, Dallton Dewey had six points and Austin Gabriel had six rebounds.
Pleasant Hill’s Stephen Parmenter led all scorers with 19 points, while Logan Pruitt added 11 for the Billies.
”We did a good job on Max Smith, holding him to under 10, but we couldn’t find an answer to Stephen,” Thomas said. ”Pleasant Hill’s really good on defense; defensively we didn’t guard well enough – and as we continued to miss shots, they were able to extend their lead.”
At La Pine, against a team Creswell bested by 30 points earlier this season, the game was painfully close until the Dawgs pulled away late.
”Again, it was not a good shooting night for us, and we struggled with ball movement,” Thomas said. ”They manned us the whole game, which was surprising, and we played a lot of one-on-one ball, forcing up some quick shots that we missed instead of setting up and running our offense.”
It was déjà vu on defense, too: ”Again, we didn’t guard very well; we let them hang around for quite a while,” Thomas said.
Gabriel paced Creswell with 15 points – including a couple of threes – and eight rebounds. Dewey added seven points, four rebounds and four steals; Frieze added six points; and Kai Apo, returning to the court this week after an injury, grabbed five rebounds.
In both games, ”We got open looks, but our shooters were not hitting shots,” Thomas said. ”Not playing our best defense and not shooting the ball well when we’re getting open looks is hurting us, for sure.”
Ills the eighth-ranked Bulldogs will be looking to remedy this week as they travel to take on Harrisburg before hosting top-ranked Santiam Christian on Friday.