CV boys basketball: Mike Stair, Hunter Hurley

Crescent Valley boys basketball coach Mike Stair, left, works with Hunter Hurley in the third quarter against Churchill on Tuesday night. (Amanda Cowan | Corvallis Gazette-Times)

It’s tough to gauge this Crescent Valley High boys basketball team by Tuesday night’s game against Churchill.

The Raiders lost 67-36 to the Lancers, but Churchill was the 5A runner-up last season and has several players back.

A challenging first matchup for the Raiders, who have barely been able to practice so far thanks to the recent wintery weather.

CV went from focusing on Thurston during practice to putting everything on hold and then eventually looking at Churchill.

“Missing a week in a row of basketball has had a little bit of an effect on us from a conditioning perspective,” CV coach Mike Stair said. “And also from the overall understanding of the game, the offensive and defensive principles that we were really starting to get in place were disrupted and I think with a team that has as many new faces as we had coming in, that’s a real challenge to get through.”

Conditioning proved to be an issue against Churchill.

The Raiders were hanging tough and played some solid basketball in the first half.

The goal was to keep Churchill’s transition game under control and the Raiders did a decent job for the most part and trailed 28-18 at the break.

The Lancers came out and outscored the Raiders 26-6 in the third to take a 30-point lead into the fourth.

“Churchill’s a good team and we were down by 10 at halftime and we didn’t shoot the ball nearly that well,” senior Tanner Sanders said. “So we just need to keep our energy up when we come back from halftime and I think that’s where conditioning sort of kicked in a little bit and our energy dropped. That will happen early in the season but going forward we need to push ourselves harder in practice.”

The Raiders had a tough time from the field all game and were held under double figures in two quarters.

“We definitely struggled shooting the ball tonight and that’s something that we’ve talked about,” Stair said. “We feel like we need to be a strong outside shooting team in order for us to be effective offensively.”

Sanders is back for his final season and fourth season on the varsity. Mickinley Langager has some varsity experience, as does sophomore guard Joe Casey, but that’s where it ends.

“Other than Mickinley and I, nobody’s really seen varsity experience,” Sanders said. “So it’s going to be interesting to see how we handle some teams in the league that have varsity experience.”

Junior Lake Roberson led the Raiders with 18 points. He’s a transfer from Corvallis High who swung between varsity and JV last season.

Roberson said he was determined to go out and have fun in his first game with CV and it paid off.

He said the Raiders have a lot of versatile players and could put together a strong season.

“We definitely feel like if we do everything right that we can be one of the biggest surprises in the state considering that we’re not very well known due to lack of varsity experience,” he said. “But we definitely have the tools and the individual and team potential to have a good season.”

Churchill 67, Crescent Valley 36

CHURCHILL           11 17 26 13 — 67

CRESCENT VALLEY 10  8   6 12 — 36

Churchill: Shedrick 14, Brooks 11, Hayashi 2, Monjaras 6, Smith 6, Geiger 5, Nelson 4, Abraham 5, Nesbitt 8, Evenson 6, Forest

Crescent Valley: Roberson 18, Langager 2, Hurley 8, Kinkade 6, Hassan 2, Sanders, Casey, Whitney

JV: Churchill 79, CV 44

Kevin Hampton is sports reporter for the Gazette-Times. He can be reached at 541-758-9519 or kevin.hampton@lee.net.

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