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Crook County leads from the start as they roll to a 53-32 victory over the Eagles

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - McCall Woodward goes to the hoop in the Cowgirls' game against Ridgeview last Friday. Tuesday night, Woodward scored 10 points as CCHS defeated Hood River Valley 53-32.The Crook County Cowgirls have picked up their first Intermountain Conference basketball victory of the season.

Tuesday night, the Cowgirls rolled into Hood River Valley and led from the start as they came away with a 53-32 victory over the Eagles.

"We took the lead early, but we didn't really pull away until the second half," Crook County head coach Heidi Lea said. "We kept the lead at eight to 12 points through the first half, and then we pulled away in the second half."

The 53 points were the most the Cowgirls have scored since defeating Estacada 55-36 in the opening game of the season.

"The girls were excited," Lea said. "One of the things they said is they came into this game with confidence, and we said 'Heh, you have to come into every game feeling that way.'"

Crook County led 15-11 at the end of the first quarter and 24-15 at the half.

The Cowgirls extended their lead to 34-16 at the end of three periods before exploding for 21 points in the fourth quarter as they pulled away for the easy win.

Crook County had perhaps their most balanced offensive attack of the season, with three players in double figures.

Dallas Hutchins led the way for Crook County with 11 points, while McCall Woodward and Josie Kasberger were also in double figures with 10 points apiece.

Teagan Freeman and Liz Barker also had solid offensive games with nine and eight points, respectively.

Grace Meyers was the lone Eagle in double figures with 12 points, while no other Hood River Valley player scored more than five.

Barker led all rebounders with 10 while Hutchins pulled down eight rebounds, Kasberger snared six, and Grace Brooks grabbed five.

Hood River Valley was led by Meyers with eight boards, while Reese Leiblein pulled down six.

As a team, the Cowgirls snagged 35 rebounds to 23 for the Eagles.

Crook County also had a season low in turnovers.

The Cowgirls have been hurt by turnovers all season. However, Tuesday they had just 13 turnovers, while the Eagles finished with 19.

Kasberger led the team in steals with three, while Barker and Zoe Guthrie each finished with two.

In addition to leading the Cowgirls in scoring, Hutchins finished with five assists, while Woodward and Freeman each had four.

As a team, Crook County had 19 assists on their 21 baskets in the game.

The one area where the Cowgirls struggled was with fouls. As a team, they committed 16 fouls, with Barker eventually fouling out.

Hood River Valley had an opportunity to stay in the game at the free-throw line. However, the Eagles converted just eight of 23 attempts, while the Cowgirls were six for 13 from the charity stripe.

"They played well," Lea said of her team. "We ran some different defenses and changed some things up, and I think they responded well. I think they did more things with confidence, knowing now that they can play a full game — four balanced quarters."

With the win, the Cowgirls improved to 3-12 overall and 1-3 in Intermountain Conference play, while Hood River Valley fell to 1-15 overall and 0-4 in conference play.

Lea said that the Cowgirls hope to keep the momentum going as they host Redmond Friday in a 5:30 p.m. game.

After reaching the state playoffs a year ago, the Panthers have struggled to earn wins this season and come into the game with just a 2-13 overall record and a 1-3 league mark.

"The girls know that Friday is going to be tough," Lea said. "We need to show up and play. I think Redmond is pretty balanced with us. Their game against Hood River was very similar to ours scorewise. I think it will be a good game, but I think this win gives the girls confidence going in."

Crook County 53, Hood River Valley 32

Tuesday, February 4

At Hood River Valley

Crook County 15 9 8 21 — 53

Hood River Valley 11 4 2 15 — 32

Crook County (53) — Dallas Hutchins 11, Kasberger 10, Woodward 10, Freeman 9, Barker 8, Guthrie 3, Zandio 2, Brooks, Joyce, Nguyen, Gish. Totals: 21 6-13 53.

Hood River Valley (32) — Grace Meyers 12, Barajas 5, Leiblein 5, Baker 4, Kroll 3, McNerney 3, Newton. Totals: 10 8-23 32.

Three-point goals — Crook County: Freeman 3, Woodward, Hutchins. Hood River Valley: Leiblein, Kroll, Meyers, McNerney.

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