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PREP BASKTBALL: finding its identity



FALLS CITY — Falls City’s boys basketball team is in search of its identity.

“It’s been a little more of a learning curve than I first expected,” coach Micke Kidd said.

New faces, including the Lafayette brothers, and losing Reid Simmons to an ankle injury during the first game, has meant the Mountaineers have working out the kinks of new lineups and rotations.

But for the Mountaineers, who defeated Oregon School for the Deaf 66-22 on Dec. 12 before falling to C.S. Lewis 62-57 on Thursday, it’s all part of growing together.

“We shouldn’t have lost to C.S. Lewis,” junior Austin Burgess said. “But we’ve gotten a lot of new people and we're coming together.”

J.R. Lafayette, a forward, Jason Lafayette, a guard, and Jesse Sickles, a forward, along with improving play from returners like Burgess, coach Micke Kidd said the pieces are there for a run to the state playoffs.

“We’re sort of waiting for someone to step up,” Kidd said. “They are all so polite and respectful. Someone's got to step up. Austin did a pretty good job of that on Thursday.”

Jason Lafayette scored 16 points against OSD while J.R. added 14 points.

Jason scored 20 points against C.S. Lewis and Burgess recorded 17 points and 10 rebounds.

Last season, Burgess struggled on the offensive end.

“I couldn’t shoot as well,” he said, chuckling.

Thanks to work on his form, Burgess is now a bona fide offensive threat.

“He’s keeping the ball high,” Kidd said. “And he’s more mature and bigger and stronger. Some guys make a big jump from their sophomore to junior year.”

Individually, Kidd is seeing talent. Putting it together for 32 minutes will just take time, he said.

“We need more practice time,” Kidd said. “We’re trying to integrate three players into a system that the other guys are used to. Some of our schedule got rearranged and, with the football season going as long as it did, we missed out on a week of practice.”

Falls City hosts Siletz Valley Thursday at 7 p.m.

GIRLS BASKETBALL WINS TWO: Falls City’s girls basketball team defeated Oregon School for the Deaf 48-24 on Dec. 12 and C.S. Lewis 50-20 on Thursday.

Emma Burgess scored a game-high 15 points against OSD and grabbed seven rebounds. Brittney Potts added eight points and seven rebounds.

Amara Houghtaling led the Mountaineers against C.S. Lewis with 19 points and two assists. Potts and Burgess combined for 19 rebounds.

“The girls started the season a little slow, but they played some pretty good teams,” Kidd said. “I was wondering how they would respond, and their energy has been a lot better on the floor.”

Falls City hosts Siletz Valley Thursday at 5:30 p.m.



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