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Cowgirls struggle to score in both first and third quarters as Lions roll to win

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Josie Kasberger is fouled on the way to the basket in a game earlier this year. Kasberger scored 10 points and grabbed 12 rebounds Tuesday night in the Cowgirls' loss to the Cottage Grove Lions.The visiting Crook County Cowgirls struggled to score in the first quarter Tuesday night and fell behind early, losing 60-36 to the Cottage Grove Lions.

"We did a lot of good things," said Crook County head coach Heidi Lea. "They just have a couple of taller girls, so it's hard when you have to play against kids like that that have an inside presence."

The taller Lions forced the Cowgirls into outside shots most of the game, while 6-foot-1 post Gracie Arnold pounded the ball inside for a game-high 21 points.

In addition, Cottage Grove's other 6-1 post, Ema Gardner, was a defensive force, stifling the Crook County inside game.

Cottage Grove led 14-4 at the end of one quarter and 25-14 at the half.

The Cowgirls struggled to score once again in the third quarter, and Cottage Grove extended their lead to 40-22.

The Cowgirls did better offensively in the fourth quarter, but so did the Lions as they outscored Crook County 20-14 in the final frame.

In addition to Arnold, Lion wing Megan Schatz also had a big game, scoring 19.

Josie Kasberger was the lone Cowgirl in double figures with 10. Liz Barker added eight points, while Teagan Freeman and Dallas Hutchins chipped in with six points apiece.

Crook County, which has struggled with turnovers all year, played nearly error free, turning the ball over just 15 times, compared to 13 for the Lions.

Kasberger pulled down 12 rebounds and Hutchins eight as the Cowgirls outrebounded the taller Lions 36-32.

"We took care of the ball well, and we had some good runs, plus we outrebounded them," Lea said. "We had some good in-and-outs and had some good outside shots. They just weren't falling."

However, Cottage Grove shot 42% from the floor compared to just 22% for the Cowgirls. In addition, Cottage Grove went 11-15 from the free throw line while Crook County was just 4-9.

With the loss, the Cowgirls fell to 2-9 on the year, while Cottage Grove improved to 8-4.

The Cowgirls still have a nonleague game Friday night at Milwaukie, 4-4, before starting the league season the following Friday when they host The Dalles in the opening game of the Intermountain Conference for both teams.

Friday's game is set for 5:45 p.m., while the home game against The Dalles is scheduled to begin at 6:30 p.m.

Cottage Grove 60, Crook County 36

Tuesday, January 7

At Cottage Grove

Crook County 4 10 8 14 — 36

Cottage Grove 14 11 15 20 — 60

Crook County (36 ) — Josie Kasberger 10, L. Barker 8, Hutchins 6, Freeman 6, Brooks 4, Joyce 2, Woodward, Jonas, Zandio. Totals: 15 4-9 36.

Three-point goals — Crook County: Freeman 2. Cottage Grove: Schatz 3, Riggs, DeGarlas.

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