by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Culver's Emma Hoke tries to drive past a La Pine junior varsity defender during Friday's win against the Hawks in the Culver Bulldog Booster Holiday Tournament. Team making steps in right direction

The Culver High School girls basketball team picked up a win in three tries during play last week, knocking off the La Pine junior varsity team 46-17 on Friday at Culver High School.

Culver opened the week Tuesday against Tri-River Conference foe, and defending Class 2A state champions, Regis in Stayton. The Bulldogs lost 61-26. On Saturday in the championship game of the Culver Invitational tournament, Lost River upended the Bulldogs 44-23.

Overall, head coach Scott Fritz said, he was pretty pleased with how his team played. He said the score with Regis doesn’t indicate how hard and well his team played.

“We handled their pressure well and rebounded right with them,” Fritz said. “I thought we took a step forward in that game. We fought and scrapped, had some steals and I was happy with the effort.”

He also said that he had Regis fans come up to him after the game to tell him how well they thought the Bulldogs played.

On Friday against the La Pine JV team, to open the Culver Invitational tournament, Fritz said they played down to the opponents’ level at times, but did enough to win.

by: BILLY GATES/THE PIONEER - Culver's Raeanne Slaght rips a rebound away from the La Pine junior varsity player during the Bulldogs' win on Friday at home.Fritz said he gave the starting five two minutes to begin the fourth quarter to improve their play and show him they would play hard, and the team did that.

“We got into a little foul trouble at times, but it didn’t hurt us and everyone got a shot to play,” Fritz said.

Nine of the 10 players scored for Culver, and Andrea Retano led the team with 15 rebounds.

“We’ve been working on rebounding for the past couple weeks, and we did a pretty good job of it,” Fritz said. “We just can’t give teams second chances and more possessions. It’s crucial for us to have the ball and get our shots when we can get them.”

Culver guard Alysha Fritz was having some troubles with her shot to start the game against the La Pine JV team, but she kept putting the ball up with confidence, and in the second half, the shots started to fall.

“I was pretty proud of the way she was able to do that,” Coach Fritz said. “She couldn’t hit hardly anything in the first half, but she kept at it and it started to fall later on.”

She had a game-high 13 points, and hit the Bulldogs’ only 3-pointer.

Against Lost River, Fritz said his team was out of position the entire night, which led to a lot of easy buckets by the Raiders.

“They are such a good passing team, it’s easy for them to capitalize on mistakes like that,” Fritz said. “We weren’t very fundamentally sound on defense, and we struggle with the pressure they put on us a little bit.”

Moving forward, Fritz said the team will continue to work on rebounding more, but he was pleased with the effort his team displayed all week in that regard. Especially when the Bulldogs get into the bulk of the Tri-River Conference schedule, Fritz said rebounding will become even more important.

“We didn’t get a chance to work on it much earlier in the season since we were installing a new offense, so I take the blame for not working on it a lot earlier,” Fritz said. “We’ve spent quite a bit a time on it lately, and after we watch the tape we’ll have more to look at it and continue to get better.”

Raeanne Slaght scored 10 points against Lost River to lead the team, and Hannah Lewis scored nine.

Culver will travel on Friday to Boardman to take on Riverside, and then will go to Maupin on Monday to play South Wasco County.

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