Tigers fill holes
Even though it was short a starter, the La Grande girls basketball team amped it up and took another win from Ontario Saturday.
Avery Albrecht was unable to play due to a minor sprain, but her teammates adapted and worked hard to make up for her absence to win the game 52-50.
Ontario rallied too late, closing the deficit, but La Grande held them back just enough to win. Haley White made the last basket of the game for La Grande with more than two minutes left.
La Grande felt the pressure as the time ticked down and lost most of the lead they had gained in the third quarter.
With two minutes left to play, Ontario’s Rylee Salutregui was fouled twice and made all four free throws.
At 47 seconds, Isabelle Schaffeld hit a basket to close the game to within four points, 52-48. Kylin Collman fouled Schaffeld on the shot and Schaffeld then hit both free throws to bring the game to within two points.
At 14 seconds, Ontario had possession on a breakaway when Makenzi Higinbotham stepped out of bounds driving down the sideline.
With 12 second left, La Grande attempted to pass the ball in, but Ontario put up too much of a screen, knocking the ball out of Kali Avila’s hands and causing her to kick the ball.
La Grande and Ontario both called consecutive timeouts.
Then, with less than a second left in the game, La Grande was fouled and took the ball out of bounds under Ontario’s basket. Ontario attempted to intercept the pass but La Grande kept them from a chance to tie as the buzzer sounded.
“Everyone stepped it up, really Kylin did as well, everyone really filled in the empty spot of a missing teammate,” Albrecht said.
Collman scored the first field goal of the game to start a 7-2 run that Ontario answered with an 11-3 run of its own to end the first quarter 13-10 with Ontario in the lead.
Collman tied the game for the second time 19-all with a 3-pointer deep in second quarter helping end it in another tie 25-all.
Ontario seemed to have no counter as La Grande found its rhythm in the second half and pulled further ahead with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, this time by Talia Whitmore, ending the third in the lead 45-36.
According to White, everyone who came in off the bench did an excellent job.
“We came out a little intense but we lost it,” White said. “In the end we got it back.”
La Grande assistant coach Bob Bedard said the team started to get a little scattered, allowing Ontario to close the gap and threatening La Grande’s lead.
“You really have to protect the ball well and watch your fundamentals when it gets real physical and aggressive,” Bedard said.
Collman finished with a game-high 21 points, making four 3-point shots. Auslin McDaniel-Perrin scored 16 points and Avila added seven.
Ontario’s Salutregui ended the night with 17 points and fouled out of the game in the last 20 seconds. Riley Helmick and Schaffeld both scored 10 apiece.
“It was a big win for us and I think we all did our part,” Avila said.
In spite of her injury, Albrecht is positive.
“It was really hard not being able to be there with my team, because as a team, we should do it together,” Albrecht said. “I’ll be back next game for sure.”
The Tigers will continue their playoff season soon against a team and at a place yet to be determined.