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4A top-ranked Philomath hands Crook County High School initial defeat of the season

LON AUSTIN - McKenzie Jonas rises up to shoot during the Cowgirls' 46-42 home win over the Summit Storm Dec. 15. CCHS was undefeated before dropping a 38-31 game to Philomath.

It was a big week for the Crook County Cowgirl basketball team.

The Cowgirls played on four consecutive nights, winning three of four games, and moving up to No. 1 in the OSAA Class 5A power rankings.

The Cowgirls started things off with a close 46-42 home victory over the Summit Storm Wednesday night. Thursday the Cowgirls won again, this time taking a 56-38 victory over North Bend in the first round of the Marshfield Holiday Classic. On Friday, they knocked off Redmond 56-37 in the tournament semifinals. Crook County seemed to run out of gas on Saturday as they fell 38-31 to Philomath, which is now ranked number one in Class 4A.

Wednesday the Cowgirls held a 16-13 lead after one quarter. Despite getting the Storm into foul trouble in the second quarter, Crook County was unable to maintain the momentum as the Storm tied the game late in the second quarter. The two teams went into the locker room tied 24-24 at the half.

Crook County clamped down on defense in the third quarter, holding the Storm to just three points in the period as they streaked to a 37-28 lead. However, Summit came storming back, closing to within two points late in the game. Crook County made four of six free throws down the stretch and it was just enough to hold on for the win.

Katelynn Weaver led Crook County with 18 points in the game, while Emma Bales was also in double figures with 10 and Grace Brooks finished with nine. Summit was led by Rose Koehler with 19, including 13 in the fourth quarter.

"That was exactly what we needed to test our toughness," Crook County head coach Bob Boback said. "The girls were resilient. They just kept going. They just kept playing hard and like I told them, everyone made mistakes, but everyone contributed and made plays. It's the old cliche, we will just take them one game at a time. But, right now, this team is really special. From what everyone perceived them to be, two years ago, to where they are at now it pretty incredible."

Guard McCall Woodward agreed.

"That's one of the toughest teams and tests we have had this year," she said. "It was really fun and I think we just finished really well. We have been playing together for a long time, but I think having such a strong start to the season has really helped us believe."

That belief has propelled the Cowgirls to their best start in years. Despite the loss to Philomath in the Marshfield championship the Cowgirls are still 7-1 on the season.

Thursday in the opening round of the Marshfield Holiday Classic North Bend stayed with the Cowgirls for a quarter. However, Crook County cranked up the defensive pressure in the second quarter and North Bend was unable to keep pace. Leading just 14-13 at the end of one period Crook County went on a 17-2 run in the second quarter, taking a 31-15 halftime lead.

North Bend tried to come back, outscoring the Cowgirls 21-17 in the third quarter, to close to 46-36. However, that was as close as they would get. The Cowgirls shut North Bend down in the fourth quarter, as they pulled away for the easy win.

Once again Weaver led the way, scoring 20 points in the contest. Bales and Brooks were also in double figures with 13 and 11 points respectively, while Woodward chipped in with eight points.

Adrianna Frank led North Bend in scoring with 22 points. However, 19 of those points came in the third quarter.

In the semifinals Crook County led from the start as they ran their record to 7-0 with the win over the Redmond Panthers.

Crook County took an 11-6 lead at the end of the first quarter and led 24-13 at the half. Crook County continued to play great defense through the third quarter as they pushed their lead to 37-20. The two teams traded baskets in the fourth quarter, but the damage had already been done as the Cowgirls held on for the easy win.

Weaver finished with 14 points to lead the Cowgirls, while Brooks added 13, Bales 12, and Josie Kasberger chipped in with eight.

Saturday was a different story. After playing for three consecutive nights the Cowgirls looked tired on Saturday.

The Cowgirls scored just three points in the third quarter, all by McKenzie Jonas as they fell behind 11-3.

"We didn't shoot well," Boback said. "We turned the ball over more than we have all year, and they are good. But the thing is if we play our normal game we would have been fine. Four games in four days, you could tell that we were just a little off keel. We were a little tired, but we gave it a great effort."

Crook County got back into the game in the second quarter with their defense, holding the Warriors to just four points in the period as they clawed their way back into the game. The Cowgirls still trailed 14-12 at the break. After the two teams traded baskets in the third quarter, Philomath clung to a 22-20 lead.

With starter Lauren Papke missing the entire week because of a knee injury suffered the previous week at Sisters, Crook County finally ran out of gas in the fourth quarter as Philomath pulled away for the win.

Weaver was the lone Cowgirl in double figures with 10 points, while Sage Kramer led the Warriors with 13.

"In the fourth quarter, they kind of picked up the pace and we just couldn't match it," Boback said. "What a great start to the season. Their athletic director told me after the game that Marshfield and Crook County are the only two schools that have come to this tournament every year for 18 years and this is the first time that the Crook County girls have been in the championship in those 18 years, so that was pretty cool."

Weaver and Brooks were both named to the all tournament team.

The Cowgirls now have some time off as they do not play again until after Christmas when they travel to Sisters for the Sisters Holiday Tournament, which begins on Tuesday, December 28th. The Cowgirls are scheduled to face an at yet to be determined opponent at 1 p.m.

Crook County 46, Summit 42 at Crook County Summit 13 11 4 14 – 42 Crook County 16 8 13 9 – 46 Summit – Rose Koehler 19, Sam Coronado 12, Aspen Edwards 7, Zoe Garcia 3, Carly Hanna 1, Williams, Hough, Jessen, Tol. Totals: 19 1-2 42. Crook County – Katelynn Weaver 18, Bales 10, Brooks 9, Jonas 4, Woodward 3, Kasberger 2. Totals: 16 12-21 46. Three-point goals – Summit: Koehler, Edwards, Garcia. Crook County: Woodward, Brooks.

Crook County 56, North Bend 38 at Marshfield Crook County 14 17 15 10 – 56 North Bend 13 2 21 2 – 38 Crook County – Katelynn Weaver 20, Bales 13, Brooks 11, Woodward 8, Jonas 3, Fischer 1, McKenzie, Kasberger, Fildes, Barker. Totals: 21 8-13 56. North Bend – Adrianna Frank 22, Lambert 6, A. Riddle 2, Morris 2, Edera 2, Reeves, Barker, L Riddle, M. Riddle, Snyder, Amatista, Pex. Totals: 15 3-5 38. Three-point goals – Crook County: Brooks 3, Woodward 2, Weaver. North Bend: Frank 5.

Crook County 54, Redmond 37 at Marshfield Crook County 11 13 13 17 – 54 Redmond 6 7 7 17 – 37 Crook County – Katelynn Weaver 14, Brooks 13, Bales 12, Kasberger 8, Woodward 5, Jonas 2, Fischer, Barker, Fildes. Totals: 22 4-8 54. Redmond – Rilea Mills 8, Capps 7 Gallacher 7, Ure 6, Cheney 6, R. Morris 3, Stewart, Scott, A. Morris, Castrow. Totals: 13 6-18 37. Three-point goals – Crook County: Brooks 3, Woodward, Weaver, Bales. Redmond: Ure 2, Cheney 2, Capps.

Philomath 38, Crook County 31 at Marshfield Crook County 3 9 8 11 – 31

Philomath 10 4 8 16 – 38 Crook County – Katelynn Weaver 10, Brooks 6, Woodward 5, Bales 4, Jonas 3, Kasberger 3. Totals: 11 5-12 31. Philomath – Sage Kramer 13, Larson 11, Brown 9, Couture 3, Hellesto 2, Lewis, Bennett, Bacho. Totals: 14 5-17 38. Three-point goals – Crook County: Brooks 2, Woodward, Weaver. Philomath: Larson 3, Kramer.

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