February 27, 2001 11:00 pm


By C.J. Gish

Observer Staff Writer

PENDLETON When the heart and soul of your team is ripped out for more than a half, its time to find some way to survive.

Enterprises girls basketball team did just that Tuesday when it beat Crow 56-48 in the first round of the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 2A Basketball State Championships at the Pendleton Convention Center.

When senior post Shannon Talbott was whistled for her third foul with 1:33 to go in the opening quarter, Enterprise coach Mike Crawford knew the rest of his team would have to step it up to fill the place of his leading scorer and rebounder.

It forced a little to change what we didnt want, Crawford said. It wasnt really one person. Everyone took up the slack.

The balance was exceptional as Lacey Nobles stepped up to score a team-high 13 points, including three 3-pointers. Ashley Anderson contributed 10 points and Justinn Christensen added nine. Talbott even had a solid performance with 12 points in three quarters.

The victory propelled Enterprise into a championship quarterfinal meeting at 9 tonight against East Linn Christian, which upset fifth-ranked Pilot Rock, 38-37.

The game wasnt easy for eighth-ranked Enterprise (23-3), a near stalemate until three minutes were left in the final quarter.

Samantha Hughes grabbed an offensive rebound for a putback to tie the contest 45-45 with 3:19 left before Nobles outraced the Crow defense down the court for an uncontested layup six seconds later. Then Lindsay Crider was called for a foul on the Cougars ensuing possession when she hacked Talbott, who was pulling down a defensive rebound. Talbott hit the pair of free throws for a 49-45 lead.

Crow (15-11) passed the ball out of bounds its next time down the court, and Enterprise responded with a stall offense that ate more than a minute off the clock before Talbott was fouled with 1:11 left.

From there, Enterprise made five of eight free throws in the final minute to spoil Crows bid for an upset.

Weve had prettier wins, but the secret is getting the W at the end, Crawford said.

Enterprise led most of the first half, going on a 6-0 run to open an 18-9 lead in the second quarter.

But the pesky Cougars never surrendered, using a 3-pointer from Josie Smets and a shot from just inside the arc by Crider to pull within 21-19 with 34 seconds left in the first half. A basket from Christensen gave Enterprise a 23-19 halftime lead.

Crow turned the tables at the start of the third quarter with nine unanswered points to go ahead 28-23, beating Enterprise to loose balls and rebounds.

Enterprise rallied behind a Christensen putback and a Nobles 3-pointer to go ahead 31-30.

Even though we got behind in the third quarter, we kept pushing (the ball) inside, Crawford said. (Crow) was starting to stand and get tired, so we started using long passes down the court to score easy points.

From there, neither team held more than a three-point lead until Enterprises run in the closing minutes of the contest.

Crow was led by Katie Atkins, who scored a game-high 22 points. Crider added nine.

Crow girls 9 10 16 13 48

Enterprise 12 11 12 21 56

Crow Westover 1 1-2 3, Ledgerwood 1 0-0 3, Crider 3 1-2 9, Brodey 1 0-0 2, McLean 3 1-2 7, Atkins 9 4-6 22, Hughes 1 0-0 2. Totals: 19 7-11 48.

Enterprise Beach 0 0-1 0, Gardner 0 3-4 3, Davis 1 0-0 2, Nobles 5 0-0 13, Anderson 5 0-0 10, Nash 0 0-2 0, Talbott 2 8-16 12, Harvey, Conrad 2 0-0 4, Christensen 3 3-4 9, Haskins 2 0-0 5. Totals: 19 14-26 56.

Three-pointers Crow, Crider 2, Ledgerwood; Enterprise, Nobles 3, Haskins. Fouled out None. Total fouls Crow 17, Enterprise 10. Technical fouls None.