The first message sent across the Southwest Conference came from Robertson Memorial Gym on Friday night.
Don’t count out the Indians.
With Warmouth Time in full swing in the fourth quarter, the Roseburg boys basketball team knocked off SWC preseason favorite Sheldon, 56-52, in the conference opener for both teams.
Senior guard Collin Warmouth scored 16 of his 32 points over the final eight minutes, helping the Indians (11-4, 1-0 SWC) end an eight-game losing streak against the Irish.
It marked Roseburg’s first win over Sheldon since Dec. 15, 2012, when the Tribe prevailed 57-38 at home in a nonleague contest.
“We had some losses recently so to come out like that, it’s pretty special,” said Roseburg junior Jett Black. “For the seniors, their last time playing at home (against Sheldon), it’s pretty special.”
“Oh, it means a lot,” Warmouth added. “It shows us we’re still a good team and can still beat people. We need to keep that going.”
Warmouth — who’s closing in on the RHS career scoring record held by Joe Newton (1,282 points from 1999-2002) — was 12 of 12 from the free-throw line in the fourth quarter. He also had made a pair of tough shots, including a fallback 15-footer.
Warmouth missed his first two foul shots, then hit 17 of the next 18 to finish 18-for-21.
“I think the intensity (was the key),” Black said. “We had ball movement, everyone was up and we had lots of energy tonight, especially from the crowd.
“(Collin Warmouth) just goes in there and makes them, no matter who’s there. Three guys, four guys, five guys — he still makes them.”
Carson Ellis added 10 points and seven rebounds for the Indians, who shot 86 percent (24-for-28) from the charity stripe. Kaden Seely made some big hustle plays, grabbing nine rebounds and contributing five points before fouling out.
“It’s a fantastic feeling. I feel good for the community and I’m so happy for our kids,” RHS coach Mike Pardon said. “We played well. We weren’t perfect, but stayed with it and made plays.
“We defended great, especially for our size. We competed and got rebounds. Kaden (Seely) was fantastic on the boards. He defended their best player (Patrick Herbert) and I thought he did a great job.”
The Irish (7-9, 0-1) held a big size advantage, with 6-foot-9 Dominic McGarvey and the 6-6 Herbert on the front line. Herbert finished with nine of his 12 points in the second half before exiting with five fouls, while McGarvey chipped in 11 points.
“We wanted to be a lot more patient tonight and were able to do that,” Warmouth said. “Those two (Herbert and McGarvey) are going to get their points regardless, but Kaden (Seely) and Carson (Ellis) were really battling them.”
Brycen Seghetti led Sheldon with 13 points, sinking three 3-pointers.
The Indians didn’t shoot well in the first half, but only trailed 23-20.
Roseburg outscored the Irish 15-8 in the third period, with Warmouth and Ellis each scoring six points. Seely gave the hosts a six-point lead with a 3-pointer before the Tribe headed into the fourth with a 35-31 advantage.
Sophomore Zach Martin, making his first appearance of the contest, hit a pair of free throws to give Roseburg the lead for good at 50-49 with 48.4 seconds left in the game.
“That’s probably the play of the game,” Warmouth said. “(Zach) comes in cold and knocks down two free throws in crunch time. That was great.”
Warmouth made a steal and was fouled by Griffin Line on a drive to the basket with 18.1 seconds left. Warmouth converted both free throws to make it 53-49 and a two-possession game.
Seghetti missed a shot at the other end, and Ellis was fouled with 8.9 seconds to go. He hit one of two free throws to put the Indians ahead 54-49.
Sheldon’s Dawson Prickel buried a 3-pointer with 2.4 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 54-52 and make it a one-possession game. Warmouth was fouled immediately on the inbounds and made both free throws to clinch the victory.
“We were really focused in practice (after a 68-43 nonconference loss at North Medford Tuesday),” Warmouth said. “We had a good game plan and it worked out.”
Roseburg will host South Eugene on Tuesday. The Axe (12-3, 1-0) defeated South Medford 55-42 Friday in their conference opener.
SHELDON (52) — Brycen Seghetti 13, Tucker 3, J. Frey 2, Wagers 2, McGarvey 11, Line 4, Herbert 12, Owen 2, Prickel 3, Gittins. Totals 21 6-11 52.
ROSEBURG (56) — Collin Warmouth 32, Black 3, Seely 5, Lake 4, Adams, Martin 2, Ellis 10, Avilez. Totals 14 24-28 56.
Sheldon 13 10 8 21 — 52
Roseburg 12 8 15 21 — 56
3-Point Goals — She. 4 (Seghetti 3, Prickel 1), Rose. 4 (Ellis 2, Black 1, Seely 1). Total Fouls — She. 23, Rose. 15. Fouled Out — Herbert, Seely.
JV Score — Sheldon 55, Roseburg 46.