Molalla's boys took their first win of the season on Friday.

Spectators at the Indians’ basketball game might need to go get manicures after what turned into a nail-biter of a fourth period, in Molalla on Friday night.

by: CORY MIMMS - Tyler Gengler drives past the Huskies' defense. The game started out poorly for the Indians, as the Huskies started the game with a 13-0 run. Molalla was forcing shots and timid when pursuing rebounds. By the end of the first period, the Indians had closed the margin to 18-11, and the Huskies’ win seemed all but set in stone.

However, Molalla opened the second period hot, shutting down Sweet Home’s offense while pouring in buckets of their own. At 18-16, the Huskies saw Molalla wasn’t going to simply hand over the win. Sweet Home got back on track and pushed their lead to 31-23.

The Indians regrouped and closed the gap to 34-30, leaving the game up for grabs at the half.

In the second half, sophomore Kurt Potter nailed a three pointer that brought the score to 36-35. But the Huskies surged ahead again. It became the battle rhythm: The Indians would close Sweet Home’s lead to within a bucket, and then the Huskies would sink three or four shots, drawing the lead out again.

However, the Indians upped their game in the fourth quarter, playing invigorated and with a must-win mentality. Junior Carson Wolfe buried a three that brought the score to 56-55, Huskies. This time though, the Indians wouldn’t let Sweet Home punch them back.

The Indians played much better in the second half than they did in the first. It was like watching a different team. They fought tough on the boards, were aware of each other’s positioning on the floor, and they took their time setting up good shot attempts.

Molalla tied the game at 58-58 with six minutes left on the clock. Here they battled back and forth. Senior Tyler Gengler landed two foul shots that gave Molalla a three-point lead, 67-64. With the clock winding down under two minutes, the Indians started to get a little sloppy, and Coach Tyler Kelleher called a timeout to regroup.

Molalla stepped back onto the court looking for clean possessions and solid defense. They took the lead to 70-66, but the Huskies closed it to 70-69 with just seconds remaining.

Kelleher called another timeout. The Indians looked hungry for the win, having lost their first two games. The W hung over the court by one point, a small thread that was hard earned but could break with the gentlest of breezes. “Let’s go out and finish this game,” Kelleher said.

With only 10 seconds remaining, the Huskies fouled Potter, sending him to the foul line for two shots. He made both, giving the Indians a three-point cushion.

Sweet Home rushed the ball up court, looking for the three that would send the game to overtime. The Huskies got a clean look, and got the shot up. The ball just grazed the rim, popped up onto the backboard, but didn’t fall.

As the final horn sounded, the score stood at 72-69, Indians.

“It was a great win for us,” Kelleher said. “We battled back after a horrible first period.”

Conner Green had a double-double, scoring 15 points to go along with 11 rebounds. Tyler Gengler also landed 15 points. Potter followed them, picking up 14, and shot a great four of five from three point range. Wolfe contributed 12 points and Jonathon Gengler had 11 in what proved to be a very solid team win.

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