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DOWN THE BASELINE: The Tigers' Amber Rasmussen (23) drives the baseline Thursday night against The Dalles. Rasmussen scored 8 points as the No. 1 ranked Tigers won easily 62-19. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).
DOWN THE BASELINE: The Tigers' Amber Rasmussen (23) drives the baseline Thursday night against The Dalles. Rasmussen scored 8 points as the No. 1 ranked Tigers won easily 62-19. (The Observer/PIERRE LaBOSSIERE).

By Pierre LaBossire

Observer Staff Writer

The La Grande girls don't care about the No. 1 ranking in the state, according to their coach, but they do care about making a statement game-by-game.

The girls, showing their solidarity by sporting identical Chinese tattoos on their left calves, made their point loud and clear Thursday night against The Dalles, using a smothering pressure defense to build up a huge lead en route to a 62-19 win.

After an opening game loss to 4A Hermiston, the La Grande girls have responded with their second straight blowout win.

The Tigers (2-1), dropping in and out of a full-court press all game, at one point got ahead of The Dalles 50-11 before easing up. Christie Weaver led the way with 20 points, 16 of which came in the first half, while Lindsey Carmichael scored 10.

However, it was a balanced effort, with six girls scoring six or more points. "Our kids came out with a lot of defensive intensity. They ran the floor well and really got after it on defense," said La Grande coach Isaac Williams.

La Grande got much of its scoring on lay-ins caused by turnovers and steals, many of which were in the backcourt. The Tigers didn't shoot from outside much, and didn't have to. They won by that huge margin making only two three-pointers all night.

The girls are the No. 1-ranked 3A team in the state, according to the latest coaches' poll, but Williams said, "we don't put much stock in that. We don't really care (about rankings). We (still) have to prove ourselves every night."

Coach Don Faris for The Dalles said La Grande is "probably deservedly" ranked No. 1. "Their whole team gave us trouble. They're well-coached and good athletes."

La Grande's next game will be at 7 p.m. Saturday against Pendleton in Quinn Coliseum at the campus of Eastern Oregon University.

The Dalles 3 6 6 4 — 19

La Grande girls 17 17 16 12 — 62

The Dalles — Jaimi Faris 1 0-0 2, Micah Clark 2 0-0 4, Sarah Clark 1 0-0 2, Maria North 3 0-0 6, Katie Johns 1 0-0 2, Rachel Colbourne-Eagy 1 1-2 3. Totals: 9 1-2 19.

La Grande — Christie Weaver 9 (1) 1-2 20, Lindsey Carmichael 5 0-0 10, Amanda Schuft 3 0-0 6, Amber Rasmussen 4 0-0 8, Jenna Jensen 1 (1) 1-2 4, Kayla Crouch 3 0-1 6, Jill Jensen 3 2-3 8. Totals: 28 (2) 4-8 62.

Freshman score — La Grande 33, The Dalles 23

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