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Hawks’ basketball season comes to an end

Tigers beat the Hawks 78-39

Oregon's Ryker Finch comes down with a rebound as Stillman Valley's Austin Richards (11) watches. Photo by Earleen Hinton
Oregon's Ryker Finch comes down with a rebound as Stillman Valley's Austin Richards (11) watches. Photo by Earleen Hinton

Oregon’s basketball season came to an end with a 78-39 loss Byron at the North Boone 2A regional.

“We knew we would have to play flawless to have any chance,” Oregon coach Quinn Virgil said.

It was Byron’s 17th win in the last 18 games, its only loss to 3A Dixon. Earlier this year, Byron also beat Oregon, 70-45.

Other than Trey Woolsey sinking a 3-pointer to start the game, this one was all Byron (24-6), as the Tigers scored the next 15 points.

“I was real excited with how we started the game defensively,” Byron coach Tom Schmidt said.

Riley Birnbaum broke the 7-minute scoring drought for Oregon (14-18) with a basket with 30 seconds left in the first quarter and the Hawks down 20-5.

“It got ugly,” Virgil said. “We panicked and took bad shots.”

Consecutive scores early in the second quarter by Josh Sitze and Dalton Hermes gave the Hawks a slight glimmer of hope. But, that was snuffed out by another scoring drought of only one basket by Ryker Finch the rest of the way.

“Taking Woolsey out was the key,” Schmidt said. “He’s capable of going off for 30. After the first three of the game, he didn’t score again until the fourth quarter against the reserves.”

Tyler Camling and Zak Alberts were assigned to Woolsey and Schmidt was quite pleased with their defense on him.

Led by Anthony Eddy knocking down four 3-pointers, the Tigers took a 45-11 halftime lead. Nobody from Oregon had more than one basket.

The two teams traded points in a 10-10 third quarter, with Finch sparking his team on three straight baskets and two blocks. Birnbaum had a block and score.

Woolsey led the Hawks in scoring with 11 points, followed by Finch added 10 and Hermes 7.

Hermes and Jackson Buck wrapped up their Hawk basketball career and the remainder of the team returns.

“Those two are great young men – better people than basketball players,” Virgil said. “We got a lot coming back and hopefully get in the gym this summer and get better.”

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