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Imblerís Stephanie McGilvray puts a shot up through the arms of Echoís Katelyn Elligson (12) and Erika Parks (33). The Lady Panthers won the game 42-29. CASEY KELLAS/The Observer
The Imbler girls basketball team won its third straight game Thursday night on the first day of play in the La Grande Optimist Christmas Classic at Quinn Coliseum.
The Lady Panthers held the Cougars to 27 percent shooting to pull out a 42-29 victory.
The game was back and forth throughout the first half.
Imbler got on the board first before an Echo three-pointer put the Cougars on top 3-2. Imbler responded with six straight points before Echo answered with four straight to make it an 8-7 Imbler lead after one quarter.
The Cougars regained the lead to start the second quarter and stretched it to 11-8 before a Malia Mills free throw with five minutes left made it 11-9. Echo got the lead to 15-11, but a three-pointer by Ally Fullerton and a free throw by Stephanie McGilvray tied it at 15-15 with two minutes left in the first half.
A Danika McIntosh lay-in and a pair of free throws by Mills closed the half for the Lady Panthers, putting them in front 18-15 after 16 minutes of play.
The game remained close in the third quarter with Imbler holding a single-digit lead throughout. A McIntosh jumper just before the buzzer put the Lady Panthers up 30-25 heading to the fourth.
It was there where IHS gave itself a cushion, going up nine on a McIntosh lay-in with 2:40 to go. Echo got within seven after that but couldn’t get any closer before the final whistle.
Fullerton had a game-high nine points, while Mills, McIntosh and Emma Bowers all had eight. Mills added seven rebounds and McIntosh had four.
Jacey Teeter put in four points and McGilvray had three points and eight boards.
Evangalyn Marcum, Katelyn Elligson and Hayden Tarvin all had seven points for Echo.
Imbler faces Union today at 6. Echo faces Joseph at 8 a.m.