March 04, 2001 11:00 pm
TOUGH SHOTS:Enterprise's Shannon Talbott faced strong defense in Sherman County's Talia Sanderson. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).
TOUGH SHOTS:Enterprise's Shannon Talbott faced strong defense in Sherman County's Talia Sanderson. (The Observer/PAT PERKINS).

By Pat Perkins

Observer Staff Writer

PENDLETON At least Enterprise High School now has a second-place trophy to go into its collection.

The school that has won six state girls basketball trophies since 1996 did not get its second state championship Saturday night. Sherman Countys Talia Sanderson made sure of that.

Sanderson scored 23 points and pulled down 19 rebounds in Sherman Countys 45-37 victory over Enterprise in the title game of the OSAA-U.S. Bank Class 2A State Girls Basketball Tournament.

For the third straight year, Sanderson was named to the all-tournament first team, and her performance Saturday night confirmed that honor.

Talias been a great player for four years, Sherman coach Ron Townsend said. That kind of player is supposed to step up.

When Enterprise (25-4) made a run to start the fourth quarter and retake the lead, Sanderson scored nine of her teams final 13 points. Her offensive rebound and basket gave the Huskies the final lead change, 35-34.

After Enterprises Lacey Nobles sank a 3-pointer to cut the lead to 38-37 with 2:31 left, Sanderson scored two baskets in a minute and drained the energy from Enterprise.

She hadnt played with the intensity she had tonight in this tournament, Enterprise coach Mike Crawford said. That was the real Talia.

Sanderson won the much-anticipated matchup with Enterprises Shannon Talbott, another first-team all-tournament selection who faced in Sherman County (28-2) the strongest defense of the tournament.

We wanted to make sure we knew where Talbott was at and knew what she was doing, Townsend said. We were going to make her earn it.

The result was an off night shooting for Talbott, who was just 3-for-16 from the field but augmented her 17 points by going 11-for-12 from the free throw line.

In fact, Talbotts 9-for-9 showing from the line in the first half kept Enterprise in the game. Enterprise scored the games first points, but Sherman went on a 13-0 run keyed by seven points from point guard Heidi Beers, another first-team all-tournament choice. Beers finished with 15 points.

Talbotts free throws and some timely baskets by guard Lacey Nobles slowly brought Enterprise back into the game. In the halfs final seconds, Talbott ripped the ball away from Kasey Stroud, who fouled Talbott trying to get back the ball. Talbott hit two free throws with four seconds to go to tie the game 23-23.

Then came the offensively challenged third quarter. Sherman County scored five points in the first three minutes, and neither team scored after that.

Crawford was stern with his charges after the scoreless third.

I told them to get off our heels and start attacking them and going after them, Crawford said. I told them, Hey, you just got shut out because you were being tentative. Go out and attack, and we did, and we got outselves right back into it.

In less than a minute, Enterprise regained the lead. Talbott cut to the basket, took a pass from Ashley Anderson, scored and was fouled by Erin Weedman. Talbott missed the free throw, but Anderson grabbed the rebound and again got the ball to Talbott, who was fouled by Sanderson. Talbott made both free throws to cut the lead to one, 28-27.

The next time down court, Nobles hit a 3-pointer for a 30-28 lead. Talbott scored Enterprises next two baskets, but Sanderson took over the game after that.

We played pretty good defense the whole tournament, Sanderson said. Its one of the keys to our success.

Offensively down the stretch, Sherman got the extra passes and kept Sanderson involved. We just stayed calmed and tried to move the ball, and it paid off, she said.

Sherman also outrebounded Enterprise, especially on the offensive boards. The Huskies had 17 offensive rebounds to Enterprises seven. Sherman also had only eight turnovers. Enterprises 17 turnovers led to 18 Sherman points.

They did everything that I asked them to, Crawford said. It was never a lack of effort, just trying too hard.

Nobles finished with 16 points, easily her best game of the tournament. She was 6-for-10 from the field.

She was solid, Crawford said. She set her feet, found her target and hit some big shots.

Talbott had 16 rebounds and broke her own tournament record with 52 in four games. She had 51 in four games last year.

Talbott also entered the record book with 29 free throws in 41 attempts. The previous records were 22 made in 36 attempts.

Sherman County girls 15 8 5 17 45

Enterprise 10 13 0 14 37

Sherman County Bird, Macnab 0-6 0-0 0, Tatum 1-4 0-0 2, C.Stroud 0-7 2-3 2, Olsen 0-2 0-0 0, Beers 5-10 5-7 15, Sanderson 9-15 5-8 23, Danielson 0-1 0-0 0, K.Stroud 1-16 0-0 2, Weedman 0-4 1-2 1. Totals: 16-65 13-20 45.

Enterprise Waldron, Gardner 0-4 0-6 0, Nobles 6-10 1-2 16, Anderson 1-6 0-0 2, Talbott 3-16 11-12 17, Nash 1-1 0-0 2, Harvey 0-1 0-0 0, Conrad, Christensen. Totals: 11-38 12-20 37.

Three-pointers Sherman County 0-12 (C.Stroud 0-3, Olsen 0-1, Beers 0-2, K.Stroud 0-6), Enterprise 3-9 (Gardner 0-3, Nobles 3-5, Talbott 0-1). Fouled out K.Stroud. Total fouls Sherman County 18, Enterprise 13. Technical fouls None. Turnovers Sherman County 8, Enterprise 17. Rebounds Sherman County 41 (Sanderson 19), Enterprise 33 (Talbott 16). Assists Sherman County 8 (Beers 2, K.Stroud 2), Enterprise 10 (Anderson 4).