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Crook County High School girls basketball loses a tough one at home against the Bucks

LON AUSTIN - Lauren Papke drives to the bucket against Pendleton. The Cowgirls lost a heartbreaker to the Bucks but then rebounded to beat Redmond 44-33.After falling in a pair of close games to Mountain View, the Crook County Cowgirls started the league season on Tuesday with a home game against the Pendleton Buckaroos.

As with the Mountain View games, Crook County had a chance to win, but lost a late lead in a 32-29 loss to the Buckaroos. Crook County finally got on track on Thursday as they used a big fourth quarter to get past the Redmond Panthers, 44-33.

"We should have won our first three games," head coach Bob Boback said. "They all work hard, it's a matter of getting used to the system. We had one practice with this whole group together before the Pendleton game and two hours wasn't enough. The beauty of it is we have 11 people that could start. I could start anyone here and be comfortable."

The visiting Buckaroos jumped out to an early 12-3 lead. But, the Cowgirls came rolling back, closing to within 12-10 at the end of the first quarter. The Cowgirl defense took control in the second quarter as Crook County held Pendleton to just three points in the period. With their defense stiffling the Pendleton offense, the Cowgirls scored 11 points in the quarter, opening up a 21-15 lead at the half.

The Cowgirl defense was even better in the third quarter, as Crook County held the Buckaroos scoreless. Unfortunately, Crook County failed to score in the period either as the two teams went into the final period with the Cowgirls holding a six-point lead. Neither team scored again until nearly two minutes into the fourth quarter, when Dallas Hutchins hit the front end of a one and one to give Crook County a 22-15 lead.

With such a low scoring game, that point looked like it might be enough for the Cowgirls to come away with their first win of the season.

However, the Cowgirls got tentative, and the Buckaroos came storming back. Crook County still led 26-25 with 1:40 left in the game. Pendleton took the lead for the first time in the second half when Halley Schmidt made a driving layup giving the Buckaroos a 26-27 lead. On the ensuing possession, Kaitlynn Weaver was fouled and made both free throws, giving the lead back to the Cowgirls at 28-27. Then, with under 30 seconds remaining, Chloe Taber hit a clutch three-pointer, giving the Buckaroos a 30-28 lead.

Weaver was fouled again, but missed the first free throw. She made the second to close the Cowgirls to within a point. However, that was as close as they would get. Jaden Samp made a pair of free throws to run the Pendleton lead to three, and the Cowgirls misfired on a final three-point attempt as Pendleton escaped with the win.

Samp led all players in scoring with 10, while Josie Wilson chipped in with seven and Taber added six.

The Cowgirls were led by Emma Bales with nine. However, Bales failed to score in the second half as the Cowgirls didn't make a field goal in the second half.

Weaver added six points, while Liz Barker and Josie Kasberger each finished with four.

Thursday, the visiting Cowgirls got off to a better start, taking a 12-8 lead at the end of one quarter. The two teams played even in the second quarter as Crook County took a 22-18 lead into the locker room at the half. Once again, Crook County struggled to score in the third quarter as Redmond outscored Crook County 7-3 in the period to tie the game at 25-25 heading into the fourth quarter.

Midway through the quarter, the Panthers held a one-point lead. However, this time was different. Instead of being tentative, the Cowgirls aggressively drove to the basket, shooting 20 free throws in the period as they outscored Redmond 20-8 in the quarter to win going away.

"What was great is I didn't call a timeout in the first three quarters, so I had five timeouts in the fourth quarter," Boback said. "So, when we were at the line and hit two, I immediately called a timeout and said look, don't let them shoot a three no matter what. If they drive by you, foul them if you have to, but no matter what, don't give up a three. And, once we really concentrated on that, we went on a 12-0 run to end the game."

Boback was pleased with his team's defense in the game, but he was especially pleased with the rebounding as Brooks pulled down 17 rebounds and the Cowgirls snared 61 as a team. Brooks also led the team in scoring with 11, while McKenzie Jonas had a career high nine, and Weaver finished with eight. Hutchins added four, as did Bales.

Redmond was led by Carson Castrow with seven and Jenna Gallacher with six. With the victory, the Cowgirls improved their record to 1-3 overall and 1-1 in league play, putting them in a three-way tie for second in the conference with both Pendleton and Redmond.

Crook County hosted Hood River Valley on Friday, coming away with a dominating 60-27 victory. Full coverage of that game will be in next week's Central Oregonian.

Crook County plays at Ridgeview tonight, then hosts The Dalles on Thursday.

Pendleton 32, Crook County 29

at Crook County

Pendleton 12 3 0 17 – 32

Crook County 10 11 0 8 – 29

Three-point goals – Pendleton: Samp 2, Wilson 2, Taber 2. Crook County: Jonas, Bales.

Pendleton – Jaden Samp 10, Wilson 7, Taber 6, Schmidt 5, Youncs 2, Jenness 2, Pasena, Murphy, Brown, Gomez. 9 8-16 32.

Crook County – Emma Bales 9, Weaver 6, Kasberger 4, Jonas 4, Brooks 3, Papke 2, Freeman 1, Hutchins 1, L. Barker, A. Barker. 6 15-29 29.

Crook County 44, Redmond 33

at Redmond

Crook County 12 10 3 20 – 44

Redmond 8 19 7 8 – 33

Three-point goals – Crook County: Jonas 2, Papke, Freeman, Brooks. Redmond: C. Castrow, Gallacher.

Crook County – Grace Brooks, 11, Jonas 9, Weaver 8, Bales 4, Hutchins 4, Freeman 3, Papke 3, L. Barker 2, Kasberger.

Redmond – Carson Castrow 7, Gallacher 6, Herring 4, Gonalez 4, Capps 3, Stewart 3, Johnson 2, Dove 2, K. Castrow. 11 7-16 33.

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