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Crook County falls behind 14-2 in first quarter and never makes a serious run in loss

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Martina Zandio goes to the basket for a bucket during the fourth quarter of the Cowgirls' loss to the Pendleton Buckaroos Tuesday night. The basket was Zandio's only points of the night. The Crook County Cowgirls fell behind early and never recovered, falling 54-32 to the Pendleton Buckaroos Tuesday evening in Prineville.

"We just didn't come out ready to play," Cowgirls head coach Heidi Lea said. "We came out kind of humdrum in warmups, and it just didn't seem like from the tip that they were ready to go."

Lea added that she thought the team played solid defense early in the first quarter, but even that slipped away later in the game.

Both teams started slowly, with neither side scoring in the game's first three minutes.

Pendleton finally drew first blood with just under five minutes remaining in the first period.

The Cowgirls quickly answered. Liz Barker grabbed a rebound and went back up for two to tie the game at 2-2.

Those were the last points Crook County would score in the first quarter, and Pendleton rolled out to a 14-2 lead by the end of the first period.

Things got even worse for the Cowgirls early in the second quarter, with Pendleton scoring their 15th consecutive point on a 3-point goal.

After a Crook County free throw by Grace Brooks, the Buckaroos added another three to outpace the Cowgirls 20-3.

Crook County tried to rally, getting to within a dozen at 22-10 on a basket by Barker.

However, the junior post went to the bench less than a minute later with her second foul of the game.

The Buckaroos took advantage, scoring the final six points of the first half as the two teams headed to the locker room with Pendleton leading 28-10.

The Buckaroos went on another run early in the third quarter, bringing their lead to 35-12.

Once again, the Cowgirls made a run of their own. When Dallas Hutchins hit a driving layup midway through the period, the Cowgirls were down just 13 points at 35-20.

However, that was as close as the Cowgirls would get. Pendleton led 41-20 at the end of three periods. Both teams went deep to their benches in the fourth quarter, trading baskets the entire period as the Buckaroos coasted to the easy win.

Barker led the Cowgirls with 10 points and nine rebounds, while Hutchins finished with nine points and five rebounds.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Dallas Hutchins splits a pair of Pendleton defenders on her way to the basket. Hutchins scored nine points and grabbed five rebounds in the Cowgirls 54-32 loss to the Buckaroos. "It's very frustrating," Hutchins said. "It's not fun, and it's challenging when you get confused yourself along with your teammates. There's miscommunication between people.

"We have to play like we did on Friday," she said, referring to an overtime win over Redmond, "and just be aggressive and have confidence stepping on the floor."

Josie Kasberger also had a solid game for the Cowgirls with five points and eight rebounds.

Three Buckaroos were in double figures. Natalie Neveau led the way with 11 points, while Sami Spriet and Chloe Taber scored 10 points apiece.

Neveau, Taber and Daisy Jenness each picked up five rebounds for the Buckaroos.

As has happened much of the year, the Cowgirls had a large rebounding advantage, pulling down 39 rebounds to 30 for the Buckaroos.

However, Crook County committed 29 turnovers, many of them unforced, compared to just 14 for Pendleton.

"When we swung the ball, we had good shots and good looks," Lea said. "But we didn't reverse the ball well. We weren't making good passes, and we had turnovers that were unforced. I think the girls are a better team than they showed tonight."

With the loss, Crook County fell to 4-12 overall and 2-4 in the Intermountain Conference, while Pendleton improved to 12-6 overall and 4-2 in league play.

Crook County played at The Dalles on Thursday. They are home again on Tuesday when they host Hood River Valley, a team they defeated by 21 earlier in the year, in a 6:30 p.m. matchup.

Pendleton 54, Crook County 32

Tuesday, February 11

At Crook County

Pendleton 14 14 13 13 — 54

Crook County 2 8 10 12 — 32

Pendleton (54) —Natalie Neveau 11, Spriet 10, Taber 10, Wilson 8, Cooley 7, Jenness 4, Hoisington 4, Samp, Youncs, Corbet. Totals: 21 7-11 54.

Crook County (32) — Liz Barker 10, Hutchins 9, Kasberger 5, Woodward 3, Brooks 3, Zandio 2, Ramoss, Joyce, Freeman, Papke, Nguyen, Gish, Guthrie. Totals: 12 6-12 32.

Three-point goals — Pendleton: Spriet 2, Taber 2, Cooley. Crook County: Woodward, Hutchins.

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