Powder Valley had to shake off early deficits in its first two games of the Union Christmas Classic, and in the latter of those two hung on when a potential buzzer-beater had been released just after the horn.
The Badgers flipped the script in Saturday’s title game.
Sam Kerns scored 14 points, Josie Ash had 12 and Powder Valley used a 24-0 run and went on to blow out Council, 58-30, and improve to a perfect 9-0 on the season.
“We came out really well,” head coach Allen Bingham said. “It’s a sign of a good team where we kind of came off of an off night (Friday) night. We won that game but weren’t really excited about it. Tonight they just came out clicking. That’s a good sign.”
Council’s only advantage was when Chelsie Testa, who led the Lumberjacks with 12 points, hit two free throws 17 seconds into the game.
Then the Badger domination began.
Kerns scored eight points in the early stages, including twice on putbacks. Add a Kim Williams 3-pointer, Logan Nedrow jumper and a pair of treys from Ash, and in a blink Powder Valley was ahead 19-2.
Megan Bingham added a 3 in the quarter, and Ash capped the run early in the second with a free throw to make 24-2.
Council finally ended the run, and its own scoring drought of 8:40 with a layup by Kylie Shumway, but by then the game was well in hand. Powder Valley never led by less than 20 points the rest of the way, and led 36-11 at halftime and 46-18 after three quarters.
While the offense was clicking and balanced —10 different players scored, including nine points from Nedrow — the defense locked down Council, forcing 10 first-quarter turnovers alone. Williams harassed Testa, the Lumberjacks’ top players and primary ball handler, much of the first half.
“Kim is a phenomenal defender,” Allen Bingham said. “She just hounds people and hounds people. I think it’s frustrating for kids when they’re trying to bring the ball up against her. Even if we’re not in a press, she’s just doing that.
“Our defense was very tough. We got numerous five-second calls. We started off shooting the ball really well, but the thing I was excited about was our defense. We just shut them down.”
Ash and Nedrow added five and four assists, respectively. Autumn Davis led the Badgers with eight rebounds.
Cove 45, Elgin 43: What a comeback by the Cove Leopards.
Adriana Garinger hit the winning layup with 23 seconds to play, and Cove stormed back from a 17-point fourth-quarter deficit to stun Elgin, 45-43, in the seventh-place game.
The Leopards appeared done after Hannah McClure hit two free throws to put Elgin up 39-22 with 6:38 to play.
Instead, a 23-4 game-ending run followed.
Keelye Musick’s layup started the run. The Leopards inched within 39-29 on a Taylor Fett free throw, and Sophia Pettit hit back-to-back baseline jumpers to make it 39-33. Two Elgin technicals helped Cove move closer at the free-throw line, and Cove eventually tied it at 41-all on two Garinger free throws with 2:22 to play.
Maggie Ledbetter then hit a jumper in the lane to put Cove up by two — its first lead since 8-7 early in the second quarter. Tymra Anderson hit two free throws for Elgin to tie it at 43-all with 49.6 seconds left, and the teams traded empty possessions before Garinger’s game-winner. Elgin’s last-second shot at a tie missed.
Elgin built its big lead with a strong second quarter, then added on in the third. The Huskies opened the second on an 8-0 run to take a 15-8 lead on Anderson’s outback. Jocelyn Palmer’s steal and layup put Elgin up 10, and Kaelin Evans’ jumper made it 23-11 at the half. The lead reached 16 in the third on two Evans free throws and later on an Anderson jumper to make it 29-13.
Ledbetter and Musick both finished with 11 points to lead Cove. Seven of Musick’s came in the final quarter. Garinger added eight, including six in the fourth.
Evans finished with 11 points to lead the Huskies. Anderson added 10 and both McClure and Palmer scored nine points .
Jordan Valley 55, Union 35: Union hung around with Jordan Valley for most of the first half, but then the Mustangs surged ahead and rolled to a victory.
Regann Skinner scored 16 points, Taylor Warn added 14 and Jordan Valley pulled away for a 55-35 win over Union in the fourth-place game.
Warn’s layup capped an 11-0 run that put Jordan Valley ahead 17-8 early in the second quarter, but Union responded. Katie Good ended the run with a jumper, and Ellie Clark put in a layup to make it 17-12.
That, though, was as close as the Bobcats got. The Mustangs quickly pushed the lead back to 26-14 on a Skinner layup, then pulled ahead by 20 points in the third at 40-20 on another layup by Skinner. Brianna Kohr hit back-to-back 3-pointers late in the third, but Union pulled no closer than 17 the rest of the way.
Taylar Daggett led the scoring for the Bobcats with nine points. Good added eight and Kohr, off those two treys, finished with six.
Arlington 68, Cove 63: Cove spent most of the fourth-place game against Arlington playing catch-up.
When the Leopards finally did catch Arlington, the Honkers responded right away.
Wesley Good scored 19 points, including seven in the fourth quarter, and Arlington fended off Cove, 68-63.
The Leopards only led once early at 5-4, and was down at much as 10 points on two occasions in the third quarter.
But Cove went into the fourth quarter tied at 46-all after Blake Witten, who scored a game-high 20 points, banked in a buzzer-beating 3-pointer from about 35 feet out.
Arlington scored five quick points in the fourth to go up 51-46 on Thomas Evens’ 3-pointer. Cove pulled back within 51-50 on a Landon Moore layup, but Brett Troutman put Arlington back up by six with a trey.
The lead stayed between two and six points the rest of the way, but Cove had its final chances. Emilio Ortiz, who scored 11 points, hit a 3-pointer to make it 64-61, then kept Cove within 66-63 on two free throws with 36 seconds to play. Cove had a chance to draw closer after Arlington missed a layup, but had a shot in the closing seconds blocked, and Arlington iced it at the free-throw line.
Dawson Gaertner added 11 points for Cove. Collin Ruth and Bryson Stitzel both grabbed six rebounds and Ortiz had five assists.
Elgin 69, Union 42: Elgin dominated in a Wapiti League preview. And ended a long losing streak to Union.
Brandon Howes scored 22 points, Caleb Lathrop had 17, and the Huskies never trailed as they thumped Union, 69-42, in the third-place game.
The victory ended a 14-game losing streak to the Bobcats. Elgin last defeated Union Jan. 28, 2012, a 44-33 home victory.
Saturday, Elgin built a double-digit first-half lead, going up as much as 28-17 on a layup by Howes, which capped an 8-2 run.
Union scored the next eight points, getting as close as 28-25 on a jumper by Jace Phillips and 29-26 on a Levi Cloutier free throw.
Elgin took over from there. Ian Adams put in a reverse layup to start an 8-0 run, with Ian Smith’s putback making it 37-26.
Gannon Carreiro’s jumper kept Union in it at 41-33 before another Elgin run — this time an 11-0 spurt that spilled over into the fourth quarter — gave the Huskies a 52-33 lead when Howes put in a layup and then a 3-pointer. The Huskies went on to build as much as a 27-point lead.
In addition to Howes and Lathrop, Smith reached double figures for Elgin, finishing with 12 points. Adams added nine points.
Keegan Glenn scored 11 points to lead Union, and Cloutier added 10 points and four steals.
Powder Valley 39, Crane 36: The Badgers didn’t play their best, and saw an 11-point fourth-quarter lead nearly vanish, but held on for a 39-36 win over Crane semifinals.
The Badgers advanced only after Elizabeth Jenkins’ half-court heave — which went in — was waived off after she got the shot off too late.
For the second straight day in the tournament, the Badgers shoot off an early deficit to take control in the second and third quarters. Powder Valley trailed 16-10 early in the second after Shelie Doman hit a 3-pointer.
The Badgers followed with a 9-2 run to take the lead on a 3-point play by Josie Ash. They led 22-21 at the break, then pulled further ahead in the third. Two layups by Megan Bingham around a pair of Sam Kerns free throws made it 28-21. Logan Nedrow’s 3-point play late in the quarter put the Badgers up 34-23, and Kerns low-post move gave Powder Valley its largest lead at 36-23.
Kerns finished with nine points to lead Powder Valley. Ash added eight and both Bingham and Kim Williams had six.
Savannah Maupin and Doman both had 11 points for the Mustangs. Riley Davis added 10.
Union 49, Cove 36: Katie Good scored 20 points, including 15 in the first half, Taylar Daggett scored all six of her points during the fourth quarter, and Union pulled away late for a 49-36 win over Cove in the consolation round.
Union led 38-34 through three quarters, then opened the game up in the fourth behind Daggett and a strong defensive effort, holding Cove to just an Adriana Garinger field goal.
Good was the go-to for Union in the first half, with six first-quarter points and nine in the second. Bobcats, through, held just a 21-20 lead at halftime. Ellie Clark, who scored 14 points for the Bobcats, had nine in the third quarter as the Bobcats inched ahead.
Maggie Ledbetter scored 10 points, including six in the first half, to lead Cove. Sophia Pettit scored all seven of her points in the first half.
Jordan Valley 81, Elgin 28: Taylor Warn and Regann Skinner both scored 23 points, and Jordan Valley topped a shorthanded Elgin, 81-28, in the consolation round.
The Mustangs scored early and often in racing out to a 22-2 first-quarter lead and a 49-10 lead at halftime.
Jayden Palmer scored 12 points to lead Elgin. Hannah McClure added six points for the Huskies, all of which came in the second half.
Jordan Valley 56, Elgin 48: Elgin rallied from a 13-point first half deficit and hung around with Jordan Valley, but the Mustangs had an answer for every run and went on to earn a 56-48 win over Elgin in the semifinals.
Elgin twice pulled within seven in the third quarter, at 32-25 on a 3-point play by Brandon Howes and at 35-28 on a 3-pointer by Caleb Lathrop with 1:10 to play in the third quarter.
But Jordan Valley, led by Zeke Quintero, responded each time. Quintero, who had a game-high 19 points, triggered an 11-4 run with a runner that end with the Mustangs up 46-32. Elgin didn’t get closer than 10 until Lathrop converted a 4-point-play on the final play.
Wade Stanford added 11 for Jordan Valley. Lathrop led Elgin with 16 points. Howes added 14 and Ian Smith scored seven.
Council 64, Union 43: Union dug itself too big of a hole to climb all the way out of against Council.
The Bobcats cut an early 21-point deficit to as little as eight in the third quarter, but the Lumberjacks reasserted themselves and pulled away for a 64-43 victory in the semifinals.
Council — and primarily guard Brett Rosengrant — blitzed Union early. Rosengrant scored 13 in the first, including three 3-pointers, and Council led by as much 25-4 and by 19 points through one.
Union methodically chipped away in the second quarter. Keegan Glenn, who led the Bobcats with 18 points, grabbed an offensive rebound and had a putback to cut the gap to 15, then hit a 3-pointer to make it 29-17. Levi Cloutier then put in a reverse layup and Glenn had a layup off a lob from Cloutier to cut the deficit to 32-22 at the break.
The closest Union came was 38-30 on Glenn’s 3-pointer midway through the third, then Council pulled away. Braden Nichols converted a nifty lefty layup to put the Lumberjacks up 44-31, and in the fourth a runner by Rosengrant started a 15-5 run that pushed the lead back to 20.
Lance Nichols added 15 for Council. Ryan Shoemaker added eight points and nine rebounds for Union and Jace Phillips scored seven points.
Cove 72, Dayville/Monument 35: Blake Witten scored 16 points, Emilio Ortiz added 15 and Cove picked up its first win of the season with a 72-35 win over Dayville/Monument in the consolation round.
Wacey Fite added 12 points for the Leopards, who put the game out of reach in a hurry. Witten had 14 points in the first half as Cove raced out to a 19-2 lead after one quarter and were well ahead by halftime, 41-13.
Eight Leopards scored in the contest. Collin Ruth was the fourth Cove player in double figures, finishing with 10 points.
Drew Wilburn led the Tigers in the loss with 14 points, nine of which came in the second half.