Crook County unable to overcome a big early lead by Ridgeview in 52-40 loss

The Ridgeview Ravens jumped out to a big early lead and held on to defeat the Crook County Cowgirls 52-40 in Tuesday night Special District I basketball action.

The Ravens, who full-court pressed the entire contest, were able to force the host Cowgirls into 11 first-quarter turnovers as Ridgeview raced out to a 21-6 LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Baylee Bannon goes to the basket for two of her career-high 12 points during the Cowgirls 52-40 loss to the Ridgeview Ravens on Tuesday.

“We outscored them the last three quarters,”?said Crook County Head Coach Mark Malott. “This is the third game in a row that we have gotten off to a slow start. I just have to figure out how to get them ready to play.”

Crook County recovered to outscore the Ravens 34-31 the remainder of the contest, but was unable to close the big early gap.

The Cowgirls trailed 33-18 at the half and 39-25 midway through the third quarter. The Cowgirls applied defensive pressure of their own, and were able to get within eight points midway through the fourth quarter.

However, that was as close as they were able to get as the Ravens were able to do just enough to hold on at the end.

Ridgeview pressed the entire contest, forcing 30 Crook County turnovers. Although the Ravens committed just two turnovers during their big first quarter run, they ended the game with 22 turnovers of their own.

Baylee Bannon and Kimmer Severance scored 12 points apiece to lead the Cowgirl offensive effort. Despite being the shortest player on the floor at 5-foot-4, Bannon also led the Cowgirls in rebounding with seven.

“It was hard when we fell behind early,” Bannon said. “But we had to keep our heads up and I think that helped a lot. We played pretty well after we got going.”

Michaeline Malott added eight points for Crook County, which had just five players’ score in the contest.

Ridgeview was led by McKenzie Hidalgo with 18 points, while Marta Rodes was also in double figures with 11. However, it was the scoring that Ridgeview was able to get from the rest of their team that turned out to be the difference in the contest. Eight Ravens scored in the contest with six players scoring at least four points.

The Ravens could have put the game out of reach early in the contest, but struggled at the free throw line, converting on just seven of 21 free throw attempts. Meanwhile, the Cowgirls were solid at the free throw line, making eight of their 12 attempts.

The loss drops Crook County to 6-8 overall while Ridgeview is now 8-5 on the year.

More important than the overall record, the win puts the Ravens in the driver’s seat to earn the league’s lone guaranteed play-in contest. The two teams meet twice more this year and Crook County will need to win both contests to have any chance of reaching the playoffs.

“It isn’t over,” said Crook County wing Kelsee Martin. “It’s a learning experience. We are going to go back to practice. We are going to work on what we need to work on and then we are going to come back and fight Ridgeview hard and hopefully come out with two wins.”

The Cowgirls do not face the Ravens again until Friday, Feb. 7. The two teams meet again in Prineville on Friday, Feb. 28 in the final game of the season for both teams. Crook County is back in action tonight when they host the Summit Storm in a 7 p.m. contest.

“We are going to keep our heads up and work hard at practice and keep going with it,” Bannon said.

Ridgeview 52, Crook County 40

at Crook County

Ridgeveiw (52) — McKenzie Hidalgo 18, Rodes 11, D. Wilder 6, Durre 5, Wilcox 4, Ross 4, Simmons 2, H. Wilder 2, Kenny, Watt, Martin. Totals 21 7-21 52.

Crook County (40) — Baylee Bannon 12, Kimmer Severance 12, Malott 8, Martin 4, Smith 4, Ovens, Sappington, Wood, Thomas. Totals 16 8-12 40.

Ridgeview 21 12 7 12 — 52

Crook County 6 12 9 13 — 40

Three-point goals — Ridgeview: Durre, Rodes, Hidalgo; Crook County: none.

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