A BOUNTY OF BASKETBALL
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
The Eastern Oregon Mountaineers wont get a chance to avenge two regular-season womens basketball losses to the Concordia Cavaliers.
Thanks to Albertsons 54-43 victory Tuesday over Concordia, the Mountaineers will play a team in Fridays Cascade Collegiate Conference semifinals they beat twice during the regular season.
Albertson is also the NAIA national runner-up from a year ago.
It really did not matter to me which one, Eastern Oregon coach Anji Weissenfluh said. Theyve both got the inside game, theyve got a 3-point threat, theyre aggressive on offense and quick on the perimeter.
Fridays game starts at 8 p.m. at Quinn Coliseum and follows the four games of the Wapiti League District Basketball Tournament.
General admission tickets cost $5, and students and children younger than 12 get in for $1. No Mountaineer season or Booster Club passes will be accepted.
Eastern (20-4) won its first-ever conference title in womens basketball Saturday with an 81-62 victory over Cascade. But that followed a disappointing 65-64 loss to Concordia, giving the Cavs a season sweep.
Easterns starting guards Tricia Haddock and Jamie Jo Cant were sick over the weekend, however, and their return to health has bolstered Easterns chances of getting to Mondays championship game.
Weve got to get back doing the things that got us here, Weissenfluh said, blocking out and taking care of the ball.
Sixteenth-ranked Eastern struggled on the boards against Concordia, but that was the Mountaineers strength in the two wins over Albertson (19-10).
Turnovers have been a problem all season long; Eastern had the third-worst turnover margin in the league.
The Mountaineers need a big game from conference leading scorer Brooke Sellards (18.6 points per game), not to mention post player Julie Coffin (13.2 ppg, 7.2 rebounds per game). Coffin will be counted on to defend Albertson center Kristen Bailey, the leagues leading rebounder.
Should Eastern win the conference tournament, it would qualify for its first NAIA Division II Womens Basketball Tournament, which runs March 6-12 in Sioux City, Iowa.
We want to play next week, Weissenfluh said, or even the week after that.