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Crook County drops third consecutive game with 66-43 loss to South Albany Redhawks

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Zoe Guthrie goes through the defense of South Albany's Cassidy Johnston for two of her team-high 10 points during the Cowgirls 66-43 loss to the Redhawks on Saturday. Crook County does not play again until Thursday when they take on Astoria in the first round of the three-day Marshfield Les Schwab Invitational.The Crook County Cowgirls hung close to the South Albany Redhawks for most of the first quarter before the game began to slip away.

South Albany increased their defensive pressure midway through the period and steadily pulled away for a 66-43 road victory Saturday night over the Cowgirls.

"The kids were down after the game," Crook County head coach Heidi Lea said. "We missed some layins and you can't miss those shots. Defensively we do OK, but we give them easy buckets with our turnovers."

Zoe Guthrie came off the bench to give the Cowgirls an early lift. When Guthrie hit a short jumper from the baseline, the Cowgirls trailed just 15-11 with less than three minutes left in the first quarter.

However, South Albany upped their defensive pressure, leading to a series of Crook County turnovers as the Redhawks raced out to a 23-15 lead at the end of the quarter.

The Redhawk defense continued to shut down the Cowgirls in the second quarter as South Albany outscored Crook County 13-5 in the period to take a 38-20 halftime lead.

Once again, the Cowgirls came out strong in the third quarter but were unable to make up any ground. The Redhawks outscored Crook County 17-13 in the period to take a 22-point lead into the fourth quarter.

Down 55-33, Crook County went deep to their bench in the fourth quarter. Once again the two teams played evenly, but it didn't matter. The Redhawks were already firmly in control.

Guthrie led the Cowgirls in scoring with 10, while Dallas Hutchins finished with eight, Liz Barker with six, Josie Kasberger with five and Grace Brooks with four.

"It was really hard coming into the varsity game," said Guthrie, who was seeing her first varsity action of the year. "I forget the plays sometimes, and I have moments where I am really nervous and don't want to do anything, but you just have to get up and go do what you have to do. I know we could have done better, but for right now, that was OK."

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Dallas Hutchins drives past Adrianna Whitebird, 5, and Nikilie Robinson, 12, on her way to the basket for two of her eight points against the Redhawks. South Albany won the game 66-43.South Albany was led by Blake Barbee with 15. Cassidy Johnson was also in double figures with 12, Adrianna Whitebird and Morgan Maynard were also in double figures with 11 and 10 points, respectively.

The Cowgirls outrebounded the Redhawks 52-47, with Brooks pulling down 10, Kasberger eight and Barker seven.

Maynard and Abby Sadowsky led the Redhawks with eight boards apiece.

However, Crook County committed 32 turnovers in the game, compared to 18 for the Redhawks.

Neither team shot well from the floor, with both teams hitting just 25% of their shots.

However, the Redhawks were 19-32 from the free throw line while the Cowgirls were just seven for 22.

With the loss Crook County fell to 3-1 on the year, while South Albany improved to 3-1.

"We are taking strides and the kids are stepping up," Lea said. "Defensively we just have to step up and play aggressively the whole time."

The Cowgirls do not play again until Thursday when they take on Astoria, 4-0, in the opening round of the three-day Marshfield Les Schwab Tournament.

Astoria is currently ranked first in Class 4A, while the Cowgirls are 24th in the Class 5A power rankings.

South Albany 66, Crook County 43

Saturday, December 14

At Crook County

South Albany 23 15 17 11 — 66

Crook County 15 5 13 10 — 43

South Albany (66) — Blake Barbee 15, Johnston 12, Whitebird 11, Maynard 11, Spriggs 6, Sadowsky 5, Robinson 5, Armfield, Freeman. Totals: 20 19-32 66..

Crook County (43) — Zoe Guthrie 10, Hutchins 8, Barker 6, Kasberger 5, Brooks 4, Freeman 3, Jonas 2, Zandio 2, Bales 1, Papke, Rash. Totals: 17 7-22 43.

Three-point goals — South Albany: Johnston 3, Whitebird 2, Barbee, Spriggs. Crook County: Freeman, Hutchins.

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