Tigers clamp down on Umatilla
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.