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The Observer Paper 12/22/14

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Tigers clamp down on Umatilla

Kali Avlia (31) pulls up for a jump shot against Umatilla Tuesday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
Kali Avlia (31) pulls up for a jump shot against Umatilla Tuesday. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)

Defense set the tone for a La Grande girls basketball win Tuesday night, and head coach Doug Girdner unveiled a new wrinkle to an already stingy defense.

“We used a new zone-press scheme for the first time tonight,” Girdner said. “There wasn’t a lot of energy for either team in the first quarter, but it picked up as the game went along.” 

The Tigers held Umatilla in check during a 49-37 non-league win in front of the home crowd, winning their third straight game. 

La Grande (3-1) held the Vikings to three points in the first quarter, and built a 27-13 lead at the half. 

Kylin Collman came off the bench to score nine points in the opening half, hitting a pair of 3-point baskets. She also converted three free throws after being fouled on a 3-point attempt. She finished the game with 11 points. Her points were crucial with Lexus Miller-Moylan still sidelined with an injury.

“It was a pretty great effort off the bench,” Girdner said.

Avery Albrecht led the Tigers with 16 points, while Kali Avilia added nine points.

La Grande built a 21-point lead in the third quarter before calling off the press and filtering some younger players onto the court. 

“I think we ran out of gas a little bit at the end,” Girdner said. “We stayed in our press for a while, but I think the lack of games played a role in losing our legs. It’s tough to keep a team focused with 10 straight days of practice.”

A long lay-off won’t be the case for La Grande this time with an away game against Burns scheduled for Saturday. Tipoff is set for 6:30 p.m.


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