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Written by Paul Harder, The Observer January 20, 2014 09:36 am

La Grande’s Kylin Collman puts up a jump shot against Fruitland, Idaho, during a 62-38 win Saturday night. Collman finished with 14 points. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
La Grande’s Kylin Collman puts up a jump shot against Fruitland, Idaho, during a 62-38 win Saturday night. Collman finished with 14 points. (CHRIS BAXTER/The Observer)
 

La Grande picks up home win against Fruitland

The La Grande girls basketball team was amped up a little bit in front of the home fans. When Fruitland, Idaho, came to town Saturday, it was only the third home game of the season for the Tigers. Just like the previous two, La Grande came away with a win, knocking off the Grizzlies, 62-38.

It took a while for the offense to find its rhythm. The shots weren’t falling often, but neither were the attempts from Fruitland. The Tigers went 4-of-16 in the opening half, getting plenty of opportunities from the 11 Grizzlies’ turnovers. 

Avery Albrecht got things going, scoring six points in the opening quarter, as La Grande built a 12-5 first quarter lead. The sophomore kept scoring in the first half. Albrecht got to the rim frequently in the second quarter, and finished with 11 points in the opening half. Albrecht gave her team a 20-9 lead with 3:39 left in the first half by converting a 3-point play. She would finish the game with 14 points.

Brooke Teunissen, a 6-foot-2 post, provided nearly all the offense for the Grizzlies in the opening half, but it wasn’t enough. Teunissen had nine points, and Fruitland trailed 25-12 at the half. She finally got some help in the third quarter when Hailey Collins made the first field goal by a player other than Teunissen. 

“We focused on (Brooke) quite a bit,” La Grande assistant coach Bob Bedard said. “But, we knew they had some great 3-point shooters that would be hanging out around the 3-point line, and didn’t want to leave them open. We did a good job on that end of the floor. Speed is one of our greatest assets. That helps us close out on those shooters and keep them out of rhythm.” 

By the time Fruitland got going it was too late. 

Kylin Collman found her shot in the third quarter, and helped erase an 0-of-8 start for the Tigers from behind the arc. Collman connected on two 3-point shots in the third quarter, with her second 3-pointer pushing the lead to 40-20 with 2:22 left. 

The 5-foot-5 guard finished the game with 14 points, eight coming in the third quarter.

“Kylin is a great shooter,” Bedard said. “We count on her to get those points. She has an amazing talent, and we look forward to more great things from her.”

One problem arose in the third quarter. La Grande put Fruitland into the bonus with 3:35 left. But the Grizzlies couldn’t capitalize. Fruitland went 6-of-13 from the free-throw line the rest of the game.

“We wanted the girls to be aggressive on defense, but to do it without fouling,” Bedard said. “We just have another step of growth to take.”

La Grande didn’t follow the same path, in large part due to Lexus Miller-Moylan. The Tigers went 12-of-23 from the free-throw line in the first three quarter. Then closed out the game by making 11-of-13. Miller-Moylan personally made 7-of-8. She struggled from the floor, but still managed to lead the team with 15 points.

“Lexus got to the free-throw line alot because she works hard,” Bedard said. “She’s a great example for some of the younger players on to how to play the game. She gives it everything she has, even if the shots aren’t falling.”

As a team La Grande went 18-of-54 from the floor, while Fruitland went 12-of-45.

Teunissen led all scorers with 17 points, while Abby Tesnohlidek finished with seven points.

La Grande will open Greater Oregon League play against McLoughlin at 6 p.m. Tuesday.