Tigers take down Baker in final meeting

By Observer staff February 10, 2014 10:18 am

La Grande’s Auslin McDaniel-Perrin puts up a contested shot in the lane against Baker Friday.
La Grande’s Auslin McDaniel-Perrin puts up a contested shot in the lane against Baker Friday.
A nearly a week after pulling away from Baker City on the road in the fourth quarter, the La Grande girls basketball team followed the same recipe to sweep the season series Saturday night.

Trailing by five points for most of the first half, the Tigers used a strong fourth quarter push to grab a 52-40 win at home on Senior Night.

Michelle Freese gave the Bulldogs a 36-35 lead to open the final quarter. But, it was all La Grande after that. A 17-6 advantage in the fourth made up for what La Grande head coach Doug Girdner said was a sloppy first half.

“Just under half of our turnovers happened in the first,” Girdner said. 

“We finally settled down and played our game in the second half.”

La Grande had a total of 15 turnovers, but only had three the entire second half.  

The Tigers did most of the work from the free throw line. La Grande shot 9-of-12 from the line in the closing quarter, including 5-of-6 in the closing minute.

With 2:01 left in the fourth quarter, La Grande slowed the tempo down, passing the ball around the perimeter, which limited Baker to three possessions. Two resulted in turnovers. Freese converted the only other chance, finishing with 10 points, but it wasn’t enough to erase a 45-40 deficit.

Tigers’ senior Haley White capped the scoring with her eighth point of the game, a season-high.

Girdner said he was proud to see White get her offense going in her last home game. 

“She is really good at disrupting the opposing offense and locking down their guards,” Girdner said. 

Auslin McDaniel-Perrin turned into the answer in the paint in the second half. The junior scored 10 of her game-high 15 points in the second quarter. Her first basket in the fourth quarter gave La Grande a 37-36 lead. A lead the Tigers wouldn’t give back after three lead changes in the third quarter.

La Grande (13-5 overall, 4-0 GOL) struggled to contain Sand in the opening three quarters of the game. The Baker junior had 14 points on 6-of-12 from the field. But, Sand missed the only two shots she took in the fourth quarter.

Baker opened the first quarter with a 6-2 run, but the Tigers clawed back to make it an 8-7 game midway through the first quarter. Sand and Lemmon capped the quarter scoring, giving the Bulldogs a 14-9 lead after one quarter of play.

La Grande opened the second quarter on an 8-0 run, taking a 17-14 lead. Allie Brown capped a 7-0 run by the Bulldogs to reclaim the lead. Brown would hit a free throw to send Baker into the locker room with a 26-21 lead at the half. 

Trailing by five at the half La Grande took it’s first lead on back-to-back baskets by McDaniel-Perrin, the second coming with 4:15 left in the third quarter.

Avery Albrecht scored 11 points for La Grande, while Kali Avila added eight points.

Brown added six points for Baker.

La Grande will travel to McLoughlin (5-13 overall, 0-3 GOL) starting at 6 p.m. Tuesday.