Eight-point lead at half in Crook County High School game melts at the free throw line

For three quarters, the Crook County Cowgirls played nearly perfect basketball as they led the Pendleton Buckaroos on the road in the semifinals of the Intermountain Conference girls basketball tournament.

Then disaster struck in the fourth quarter. Pendleton pulled away late for a 61-43 victory and a spot in the conference championship.

"I'm very disappointed," said Crook County head coach Bob Boback about the loss. "I thought we were ready to take the next step. We stopped their two top scorers and were up by eight at the half, but the second half was a disaster."

The two teams were tied 16-16 after one period. However, the Cowgirls clamped down defensively in the second quarter, holding the Buckaroos to just two points in the period as Crook County took a 26-18 lead at the half.

Pendleton got their offense rolling in the second half scoring 17 points in the third quarter, while holding Crook County to 13. That left Crook County clinging to a four-point lead heading into the final period. Adding to the Cowgirl woes, the team had gotten into foul trouble.

Liz Barker fouled out early in the fourth quarter, and Grace Brooks fouled out later in the period as Pendleton shot 15 free throws in the period to none for the Cowgirls.

With the free throw advantage, Pendleton scored 26 points in the period to just four for the Cowgirls as the Buckaroos pulled away for what looked like an easy win.

"They came out determined," Boback said of the second half. "We became timid on offense. The refs didn't help us, but we need to get tougher."

Emma Bales led Crook County in scoring with 15 points, while Dallas Hutchins and Brooks each finished with eight. Liz Barker and Katelynn Weaver each chipped in with six.

Pendleton's Olivia Corbett led all scorers with 21, while Linsay Pasena and Josie Wilson were also in double figures with 19 and 14 points, respectively. Pasena scored 11 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter, while shooting 11 free throws in the period. Wilson also did most of her damage in the final frame, scoring eight points in the quarter, with much of the damage coming from the free throw line.

With the loss, the Cowgirls wrapped up the season in third place in the IMC with a 6-4 league record and a 6-8 overall record while Pendleton, which lost to Ridgeview in the conference championship, finished the year with a 9-1 league record and a 10-2 overall mark.

Pendleton 61, Crook County 43

at Pendleton

Crook County 16 10 13 4 – 43

Pendleton 16 2 17 26 – 61

Three-point goals: Crook County – Brooks 2. Pendleton – Corbett 7, Wilson.

Crook County – Emma Bales 15, Brooks 8, Hutchins 8, Barker 6, Weaver 6, Woodward, Kasberger, Jonas. Totals – 19 4-8 43.

Pendleton – Olivia Corbett 21, Pasena 19, Wilson 14, Taber 2, Spratling 2, Hoisington 2 Murphy, Boatman, Thorne. Totals – 20 13-21 61.

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