ENTERPRISE RUNS ITSELF INTO TITLE GAME
By Pat Perkins
Observer Staff Writer
PENDLETON Enterprises run at a state girls basketball title literally started late in the third quarter Friday night.
A 17-0 run included five baskets off a full-court fast break that drove the Portland Christian Royals into the ground and gave Enterprise a 58-44 semifinal victory at the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 2A State Girls Basketball Tournament.
Were a running team and we outran them, forward Shannon Talbott said. We wore them out.
Enterprise (25-3) plays Sherman County (27-2) for the state title at 7 tonight at the Pendleton Convention Center.
Portland Christian (24-4), which was the state runner-up last year, plays Regis (25-2) this afternoon for third place.
Talbott and forward Ashley Anderson turned what had been a tight game into a runaway. Each scored 22 points, and both made their case for the all-tournament team with a five-minute stretch between the third and fourth quarters.
Enterprise led 34-31 with three minutes left in the third quarter when a jumper from Becky Nobles started the run. A minute later, Nobles found Anderson for a jumper. Next time down, Talbott got the ball to Anderson for another jumper and a 38-31 lead.
Then it was time to run. Anderson got a rebound and drove the length of the court for a layup. Next time, Talbott took the rebound and drove fullcourt for a layup to end the quarter.
The opening of the fourth quarter was more of the same. Talbott stole the ball and made a nice crossover layup. A few seconds later she did the same thing again.
The game then slowed down a bit, but the 17-0 run ended when Talbott stole the ball again, missed the layup, but watched as Cami Conrad was there to get the rebound and score for a 49-31 advantage.
The win was coach Mike Crawfords 199th in 12 seasons at Enterprise, meaning his 200th could be his second state title. Enterprise won its first girls basketball state championship five years ago and has been third, fifth, fifth and fourth in state since then.
We want to make it 200 tomorrow, Talbott said.
If anyone can do that, its Talbott. Her performance Friday didnt put her in the record books but kept her on pace for several state tournament marks. Shes close to the tournament records in field goals made (she has 20; the record is 28), free throws made (18, 22) and steals (13, 15).
She had 10 rebounds Friday, giving her 36 for the tournament and 15 away from the record 51 she had in four games last year.
Shes definitely on a mission, Crawford said. Its her senior season and shes trying to step it up and show shes one of the best players in the state. Shes making her contention for 2A player of the year. Shes definitely led us into the finals.
Andersons game was more remarkable considering she has played on an injured knee.
I found out the other day that I have a torn MCL (medial collateral ligament) in her right knee, she said.
Shes starting to heal a little bit, Crawford said. The brace is working out.
Anderson sure had more jump in her jumper. The all-state volleyball player was able to elevate above the defense for most of her baskets, and she shot 61 percent (11-for-18) from the field.
Portland Christians defense was able to slow Talbott early in the game, and Andersons shooting touch helped keep the Royals honest. At times, Portland Christian would surround Talbott with four players, but most of her five assists were to Anderson.
Portland Christians full-court press didnt work any better. Talbott occasionally threw the ball down court to an open player near Enterprises basket.
Shes got such a strong arm that she can pass it down court past the press, Crawford said. It kind of plays into our hands.
Early on it looked like Enterprise would run away from the Royals like it did Wednesday night against East Linn Christian. Enterprise jumped to an 8-0 lead, but Talbott got her second foul halfway through the first quarter and sat on the bench for three minutes. She watched the Royals go on a 9-0 run before she came back in the game and got the quarters final basket for a 10-9 lead.
Portland Christian led by as many as three, 19-16, but Enterprise took the lead for good on a pair of free throws from Denette Harvey and another inside basket from Talbott.
Katie Middlebrooks led Portland Christian with 17 points and eight rebounds.
Portland Christian girls 9 13 9 13 44
Enterprise 10 16 16 16 58
Portland Christian S.Pruett 0-9 0-2 0, Gunstone 1-2 1-3 4, Morris 1-4 0-0 3, J.Pruett 2-3 0-1 5, Ross, Middlebrooks 6-15 4-6 17, C.Hill 1-2 0-0 2, Fenison 1-3 0-0 2, S.Hill 4-13 0-2 8, Grisham, Severson 1-4 0-0 3. Totals: 17-55 5-14 44.
Enterprise Waldron, Beach, Gardner 0-4 0-1 0, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Nobles 1-4 0-0 2, Anderson 11-18 0-4 22, Talbott 8-11 6-8 22, Nash 0-3 4-7 4, Harvey 1-1 2-2 4, Conrad 2-2 0-1 4, Christensen 0-2 0-0 0, Haskins. Totals: 23-46 12-23 58.
Three-pointers Portland Christian 5-14 (Gunstone 1-2, Morris 1-3, J.Pruett 1-1, Middlebrooks 1-3, Fenison 0-1, S.Hill 0-1, Severson 1-3), Enterprise 0-3 (Gardner 0-2, Nobles 0-1). Fouled out S.Hill. Total fouls Portland Christian 20, Enterprise 17. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Portland Christian 22, Enterprise 20. Rebounds Portland Christian 25 (Middlebrooks 8), Enterprise 31 (Talbott 10). Assists Portland Christian 8 (Severson 3), Enterprise 10 (Talbott 5).