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By Kathy Gray

For The Observer

THE DALLES — Using speed and superior size, the La Grande girls staged a second-half comeback Friday night at Kurtz Gym, but found that their clock-control efforts backfired as The Dalles girls defeated them from the foul line 49-43.

The Dalles led throughout most of the game, though La Grande edged forward at the end of the first quarter with an 11-10 lead.

But the Indians wanted a little basketball redemption after losing to the Tigers in last year's meeting by 50 points.

The second quarter played the deciding role in the game. The Dalles increased the aggression factor and stretched out to a 21-14 lead, holding La Grande to only three points in the quarter.

La Grande coach Isaac Williams was not pleased with his team's performance, particularly on defense.

"We are a terrible defensive rebounding team," Williams said. "We're not very good on defense and we don't execute on offense. All of that ends up leaving you 0-3.

‘'We're going to have to work very hard on all aspects of basketball," he said.

Regardless, La Grande came back in the second half and matched The Dalles point for point. The Tigers used their height advantage to take control of their own key, planting themselves directly under the basket for most of their successful buckets.

Amber Rasmussen, 5-10 sophomore wing, led the scoring with 16 points, followed by 5-9 junior point guard Jill Jensen with 14.

The Tigers began to gain on the Indians in the fourth quarter, tying the game at 36-36 with 5:39 left on the clock.

The Dalles' Maria North drained back-to-back buckets to give the Indians a 4-point lead. The Tigers' Jill Jensen came right back with two, leaving the score at 40-38 for several minutes.

With 1:42 remaining, La Grande began clock control efforts. But that strategy backfired as The Dalles' North and Sarah Clark showed their prowess from the foul line.

In the remaining seconds, Clark shot six of seven from the foul line — including a technical foul against La Grande for having too many players on the court. North shot three of four, stretching the Indians to the 49-43 win.

La Grande managed only two buckets during that time, one a trey by junior wing Jenna Jensen.

The Dalles 49, La Grande 43

La Grande girls 11 3 14 15 — 43

The Dalles 10 11 13 15 — 49

The Dalles — Sarah Clark 5 11-15 21, Maria North 10 3-4 13, Keimig 2 2-2 6, Johns 2 2-3 6, Sessions 0 0-0 3, Schwartz 1 0-1 2. Totals 15 18-27 49.

La Grande — Amber Rasmussen 8 0-3 16, Jill Jensen 6 2-6 14, Morgan Bonney 1 2-6 4, Kelly Bedard 2 0-0 4, Jenna Jensen 0 0-0 3, Ellyn Herman 1 0-2 2. Totals: 20 4-17 43

Three-pointers — La Grande 1 (Jenna Jensen), The Dalles 1 (Sessions). Team fouls — La Grande 20, The Dalles 16.

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