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Powder Valley’s Maria Bedolla drives past Cove’s Molly DelCurto Friday in the Union Lions Club Tournament. The Lady Badgers won the tournament with a 49-45 victory over Union Saturday. BRAD MOSHER - The Observer
UNION — Powder Valley literally needed last-second heroics to pull out a 49-45 victory Saturday over Union in the championship game of the annual Union Lions girls basketball tournament.
The game was tied with only nine seconds left in regulation play, but Jessica Pedro scored four points in the last nine seconds to pull out the win.
The 1A Badgers were trailing the Lady Cats by a 36-33 margin going into the final quarter.
With just 4:45 on the clock, the Badgers had fallen even further behind, trailing the home team 44-35.
Senior Ali Abrego started the Badger rally with a shot that cut the lead to seven with 4:29 left. But she fouled out near the three-minute mark. Sarah Good sank one of two free throws to make the score 45-37, but that would be the Lady Cats’ final points in the game.
Alexandra Colton hit two points on a drive through the Union defense with 3:02 left, cutting the lead to 45-39.
The Badgers picked up two more points with 2:11 when Bailee Allen got her only points in the game at the free throw line — cutting the score to 45-41.
Union’s Keesha Sarman picked up her fifth foul with 1:53 left when she was called for charging into a Powder Valley defender.
Pedro added a two-pointer with 1:46 left, cutting the lead to two points — 45-43.
With Union trying to hold onto the ball and keep it away from the Badgers, Colton came up with a steal and a layup that tied the game with 1:13 left.
For most of the next minute, both teams turned the ball over on traveling calls.
With 12 seconds, Powder Valley coach Allen Bingham called a time out to try for a final shot. Instead, the Badgers got Pedro fouled while shooting with nine seconds on the clock.
Pedro sank both free throws, giving the Badgers the lead.
Colton then almost iced the game when she stole a Union pass and was fouled with 2.8 seconds remaining.
Colton missed both shots, but Pedro got the rebound and scored just before the buzzer.
Union had a 10-9 lead at the end of the first quarter and held a 25-22 advantage at halftime.
Both teams scored 11 points in the third quarter to set the stage for the Badgers’ come-from-behind win.
“The girls just did a great job staying focused and coming back,” Bingham said after the victory. “These kids always think they can win a game. They just don’t have much doubt.”
It wasn’t easy for the Badgers, admitted Bingham. “Their (Union) stall was pretty effictive. We made a couple of substitutions and it made a difference.”
Fouls also played a key in the final minutes, with Powder Valley losing Abrego to them and Union losing Sarman, Bingham said. “It was a ‘fun game’,” the coach added with a smile.
When Union was chewing up the clock with a stall in the final minutes, Bingham was worried. “They were eating up the clock and we weren’t making the shots when we got the ball back,” he said. “The momentum had gone their (Union’s) way.”
But the momentum shifted one more time for the Badgers and enabled Powder Valley to pull out the last-second win.
Pedro finished the game with 14 points, eight in the final quarter. Abrego had 15 points before fouling out, while Colton had 14 points.
Linsey Loennig, Alyssa Aldrich and Allen each added two points.
For the Lady Cats, Sarman was the only scorer in double figures with 17 points. Dani Sturm had eight, while Carsyn Roberts hit for seven and Good had five total. Kaci Langford and Amber Fiorito each had four points.
The loss dropped the Lady Cats to 1-1 for the season and had them ranked seventh by the OSAA in the weekend’s 2A poll. Union was tied with Blue Mountain Conference rival Pilot Rock for seventh.
Weston-McEwen is ranked 12th, while Enterprise and Heppner are 14th and 15th in the poll.
After their 2-0 start, the Badgers are ranked No. 6 in the OSAA’s 1A basketball poll today. Cove (0-2) was 36rd in the poll, while Crane was 35th.
Mustangs survive Murchison mauling
UNION — Cove’s biggest weapon is in the post and coach Brendan May made sure the Crane Mustangs knew just how dangerous Mikayla Murchison can be.
Murchison ripped Crane’s defense to shreds, getting 19 of her team’s 32 points.
Crane was able to pull out the 40-32 win Saturday, improving their record to 1-1 and dropping Cove to 0-2.
Cove held a narrow 20-18 advantage at halftime, only to see the Mustangs take a 27-26 lead at the end of the third period.
Murchison got four of her 19 points in the final eight minutes of the game, but it wasn’t enough to keep the Lady Mustangs from taking a 13-6 scoring edge to put the game away.
Paige Landon got six of her team-leading 13 points in the final quarter — matching the complete Cove scoring output.
Hannah Steeves got all of her five points in the fourth quarter, while Hannah Maupin put in two of her nine points.
Morgan Corrigan finished with 11 points and Glennie Milburn put in two.
Cove also got four points each from Morgan Reddington and Hannah Hulse, along with three from Hailey Hulse and two from Molly DelCurto.
In spite of the 0-2 start, May sees a team that is close to being ready to challenge teams in the Old Oregon Leagueagain — even after losing to Powder Valley in Friday’s tournament opener.
“The girls were doing what we wanted them to be doing. The press was there. They were pretty tough on defense.
“We had them right where we wanted them. It was a tie game in the third quarter. We were right there. Just a couple more shots... it could have gone either way,” May said.
Murchison is one of the better post players in the state at the 1A level, May added.
And after Crane couldn’t stop her on Saturday, the Mustang coaches might agree.
Murchison was named to the all-tournament team, along with Corrigon of Crane, Keesha Sarnam of Union and both Alexandra Colton and Ali Abrego from Powder Valley.
Powder Valley topples Cove
UNION — A late surge by the Lady Badgers in the final minutes of the game enabled Powder Valley to open the season with a 44-36 victory over Cove Friday in the Union Lions basketball tournament.
With six minutes left in the game, the Badgers had a narrow 31-30 lead.
But the rest of the way, the visitors from North Powder outscored the Leopards by a 13-6 margin to claim the win.
Senior Jessica Pedro hit nine of her 17 points in final minutes of the game to ignite the Badgers’ offense. For teammate Ali Abrego, all of her scoring came at the charity line, hitting 11 of her 14 attempts.
Alexandra Colton added 13 points as the three Badgers combined for 41 of the team’s 44 points. Lindsey Leonnig added two and Bailee Allen had one free throw.
The Leopards had no scorer in double figures, but still had eight players hit the net for the team’s total of 36 points. Hailey and Hannah Hulse led Cove with seven points each, while Kayla Johnson had six points and Renee Mills finished with five points.
Mikayla Murchison scored four, while Kindra Moore added three and both Morgan Reddington Molly DelCurto put in two points each.
Powder Valley built up an 11-8 lead at the first break, while a second-quarter scoring surge broke open a 25-15 lead by halftime.
Cove came back in the third quarter, outscoring Powder Valley by a 12-6 margin to make it just a one-point game at the start of the fourth quarter.
Union Lady Cats rip Mustangs
UNION — Keesha Sarman led the Lady Cats to a 40-34 victory over Crane Friday in the first round of the Union Lions basketball tournament.
Sarman finished with more than half her team’s scoring (21 points), while Kaci Langford added nine points.
Sarman hit six of the Lady Cats’s eight points in the first quarter when they built up an 8-4 lead over the visiting Mustangs.
But in the second quarter, the visitors matched Union with 12 points to make the halftime score 20-16.
The Mustangs came back to tie the game in the third quarter (26-26), thanks to Morgan Corrigan’s 10-point effort.
Corrigan got all of the Crane points in the third quarter and outscored Union by a 10-6 margin.
Corrigan finished the game with 15 points, while Hannah Maupin had 10 points.
Rebekah Clark had four points, while Hannah Steeves put in three and Glennie Milburn finished with two points.
Union Lions Club Tournament
Powder Valley 62, COVE 46
Union 61, Crane (1A) 57
Crane 40, Cove 32
Powder Valley 49, Union 45