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Crook County Cowboys’ quest for 5A title comes to an end

Cowboys lose 70-47 in quarterfinals against top-seed Churchill Lancers

CORVALLIS, Ore. (KTVZ) -- The Crook County Cowboys were hoping to keep their historic season going on Wednesday. It would not be an easy task, though, against the top-seed Churchill Lancers at Gill Stadium, home of the Oregon State Beavers.

Many Central Oregonians made the trip to Corvallis for the game. Parents piled in behind the Crook County bench, with the student section and team mascot cheering from behind the north basket.

Players on the team told NewsChannel 21 after the game that having support in this atmosphere was crucial, especially because they said Churchill was the toughest team they had faced all season.

"We had moments where we could compete with these guys, but there's a couple other stuff we need to work on so we can play it more even,” said junior guard Kevin Sanchez. “For the most part, I think we played it pretty even."

"I told the guys in the locker room we're still playing for a trophy."

Jason Mumm, Crook County head coach

Sanchez certainly rose to the occasion. The Intermountain Conference Player of the Year finished with 18 points, the only Cowboy to reach double figures.

In the end, Churchill proved why they were the one seed after all. They beat the Cowboys 70-47.

"I told the guys in the locker room we're still playing for a trophy,” Head Coach Jason Mumm told NewsChannel 21 after the game. “I mean, yeah, it stinks that we lost today, but we still got an opportunity to win tomorrow (in the consolation round) and win on Friday and bring home the hardware."

That would be a fitting end to an already historical season for the Cowboys. Mumm said the team set two goals before the season: Win the Intermountain Conference, which they had never done, and make it to the quarterfinals of the state tournament, which they had only done once before in 1948.

They accomplished both of those goals. Now, the team has its eyes set on a fourth-place finish at state, something Caleb Arnold and the other two seniors on the team said they would relish.

“It feels really good to be a part of our ground, because we're all so committed,” Arnold said. “We may not have won today, but we're going to try our best to win tomorrow."

With a win Thursday in the consolation bracket, the Cowboys would have one final game on Friday to take home the fourth-place trophy.

The consolation bracket is also where the Ridgeview Ravens girls’ team found itself Wednesday, fighting for a fourth-place finish of its own.

Their season came to an end after a 62-37 loss, also to Churchill.

Crook County

Max Goldwasser

Max Goldwasser is a reporter and producer for NewsChannel 21. Learn more about Max here.

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