Trapped Tigers: La Grande falls in state opener

By Observer staff March 12, 2014 09:51 pm

CORVALLIS — The La Salle Prep girls basketball team did something scary Wednesday night — trying to trap Tigers.


It worked out for the Falcons in the second time this season during a 63-36 win in the quarterfinals

of the Class 4A state tournament in Corvallis.


The Falcons defeated La Grande 71-43 at the Sisters tournament Jan. 4.

La Salle Prep picked up the speed a little more with a semifinal berth on the line. La Grande turned the ball over 15 times in the opening half. In large part due to the 1-2-1-1 trap used by the Falcons.


“We knew it was coming, and we practiced for it,” La Grande head coach Doug Girdner said. “In the first game, we actually forced La Salle to take it off. But, for some reason tonight we didn’t play with the same poise. We were trying to do too much.”


It didn’t help that it was raining 3-pointers, at least for La Salle Prep, in the first half. The Falcons went 7-of-17 in the first two quarters from behind the arc, including 5-of-10 in the opening quarter. The Falcons finished the game 9-of-26 on 3-point attempts. La Grande couldn’t match the offensive output, shooting just 5-of-16 from the field in the opening half, and trailed 33-16.


“It’s not hard to defend the outside if it’s just one shooter out there,” Girdner said. “But, they had five girls out on the perimeter that can knock it down. That makes it a little tougher.”


La Salle Prep spread the scoring around in the game. Morgan McSmith led the Falcons with 11 points, shooting 3-of-6 from behind the arc. Aleah Goodman was 2-of-5 on 3-point attempts, and finished with eight points. The Falcons got six points or more from seven different players.


As a team La Salle Prep shot 40 percent from the field, while La Grande shot 33 percent. The Falcons also won the battle on the glass, outrebounding La Grande 37-27. La Salle Prep finished with 17 offensive rebounds, turning those into 15 second-chance points.


La Grande was led by junior Auslin McDaniel-Perrin with 11 points. She also added eight rebounds. Sophomore Kylin Collman finished with eight points, while Talia Whitmore added six points.


La Grande will face Philomath at 10:45 a.m. today in the consolation semifinals. Philomath lost to Mazama in the quarterfinals 46-41.

“We aren’t in the position that we want to be in,” Girdner said. “But you have to make the best of it. I’m not sure how we’ll play against Mazama. We had a game like this against Nyssa earlier in the season where we were all out of sync. But, we bounced back and good things happened after that. I’m hoping that trend continues.”