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Crook County wins third league game of season with blowout victory over Hood River Valley

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Lauren Papke goes up for a shot during the Cowgirls' victory over Hood River Valley on Tuesday. Papke came off the bench to score 11 points and grab five rebounds as the Cowgirls outscored the Eagles 56-25 to earn their third Intermountain Conference victory of the season. Crook County hosts Ridgeview tonight, then closes out the season on Tuesday at Redmond. The Crook County Cowgirls opened Tuesday night's home game against the Hood River Valley Eagles in a full-court press.

The Cowgirls have seldom used a press this year; however, the strategy worked to perfection as Crook County rolled out to a 13-0 lead over the Eagles.

The Cowgirls went on to an easy 56-25 win over Hood River Valley.

"This was one of the first times (all year) that they came out to play," Crook County head coach Heidi Lea said of her team. "They stepped on the court, and I think they were confident, and they came out and dictated the game from the start."

Hood River Valley did not score until more than seven minutes into the first quarter, and that score only came because of a clerical error by the Cowgirls.

Abby Barker came into the game as a substitute. Unfortunately, she had never been properly entered into the official book. The resulting technical foul gave the Eagles their first point of the game and the ball.

Still, the Cowgirls continued to control the game, leading 15-3 at the end of one period and 24-3 before the Eagles scored again.

The Cowgirls scored 21 points in the second quarter, putting the game out of reach for the Eagles. Leading 36-7 to start the second half, the Cowgirls called off their defensive pressure, and the Eagles were able to get closer in the second half.

Crook County outscored Hood River Valley just 11-6 in the third quarter to take a 47-13 lead into the final period.

The Cowgirls pushed their lead to 49-13 before pulling all their starters from the game.

With both teams substituting, the Eagles hit a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers and outscored the Cowgirls 12-9 in the period.

The Cowgirls, who have struggled with turnovers all season, committed just 12 turnovers in the contest while forcing the Eagles into 21, most in the first half. In addition, the Cowgirls outrebounded the Eagles 43-21.

Crook County was led by Josie Kasberger with 12 points, while Lauren Papke came off the bench to add 11.

"I don't get a lot of chances to show what I can do," said Papke, who spends most of her playing time on the junior varsity squad. "When the coaches give me a chance, which I'm very thankful for today, I try to use it to the best of my abilities."

Teagan Freeman and Dallas Hutchins each scored seven points, while McCall Woodward added six.

Grace Brooks pulled down nine rebounds, while Hutchins grabbed six and Kasberger, Papke and Liz Barker each grabbed five.

LON AUSTIN/CENTRAL OREGONIAN - Josie Kasberger drives past a pair of Hood River Valley defenders for two of her game-high 12 points in the Cowgirls 56-25 victory over the Hood River Valley Eagles Tuesday night in Prineville. "We had to have different people step up, and they did," Lea said. "I think that everybody that played did something well."

With the victory, the Cowgirls improved to 5-14 overall and 3-5 in conference play, while Hood River Valley fell to 1-19 overall and 0-8 in league play.

"I think we played great," Papke said. "We really played together, and we showed them that we meant business. I'm proud of my team, and I can't wait until Ridgeview."

The Cowgirls host Ridgeview (15-6 overall, 8-0 league) tonight. It is senior night for the Cowgirls, and the girls game will follow the boys game, starting at approximately 7 p.m.

Lea was also pleased with how her team played.

"I thought the girls played well and confident, and they are starting to do some things that we want to do in the future," Lea said. "We have three league wins, so that's an improvement from last year. Hopefully, they can get one out of the next two. We would like to play Ridgeview tough here. It's our senior night, and we would like to play them tougher than we did over there, so if we can shut a couple of people down and play as well as we are capable of playing, we can maybe give Ridgeview a loss."

Crook County then closes out the season on Tuesday, Feb. 25, with a 6:15 p.m. road game against the Redmond Panthers (2-17 overall, 1-7 league). Like Friday's matchup, both the boys and girls teams play Tuesday. The Cowboys and Panthers will be vying for a possible league title, while the Cowgirls and Redmond will be playing for pride, as both teams have already been eliminated from postseason play.

Crook County 56, Hood River Valley 25

Tuesday, February 18

At Crook County

Hood River Valley 3 4 6 12 — 25

Crook County 15 21 11 9 — 56

Hood River Valley (25) —Karla Barajas 11, Baker 6, McNerney 3, Routson 3, Leiblein 1, Meyers 1, Sato, Newton, Herring, Kroll. Totals: 8 5-13 25.

Crook County (32) — Josie Kasberger 12, Papke 11, Freeman 7, Hutchins 7, Woodward 6, Brooks 4, L. Barker 3, Jonas 3, A. Barker 2, Guthrie 1, Gish, Nguyen, Bales. Totals: 12 6-12 32.

Three-point goals — Hood River Valley: Baker 2, Barajas, McNerney. Crook County: Papke 2, Freeman, Jonas.

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