Two big runs, one to open the game and one that ran into the third quarter, gave the La Grande girls basketball team all it needed to pick up a second Greater Oregon League win.
Camryn Collman scored 15 points, Ella Dunlap had a double-double with 10 points and 12 rebounds and the Tigers coasted to an early 54-23 win over McLoughlin Friday night.
“I felt like the kids stayed focused, especially in that first half,” head coach Justin MacKay said. “(We) stayed focused and did a good job of continuing to put pressure on them and really dictated the tempo of the game.”
Collman and Kenzie Williams combined to score all nine points during a game-opening 9-0. The Pioneers countered with the next five points, but it was all Tigers from that point.
Delaney Lester scored all eight of her points at the tail-end of the first quarter to trigger what ended up being a 35-1 LHS run. Dunlap’s rebound and putback gave the Tigers a 20-5 lead after one quarter.
“That was one thing that we were focused on was trying to get an early start to the game, playing hard and coming out with high energy,” MacKay said.
Collman’s jumper early in the second quarter made it 24-5, and she later made it 34-5 with a pair of free throws. The run reached 26 straight points on a Dunlap free throw, and was stopped only briefly on a Courtney Breeding free throw for the Pioneers. Lauran Rinker capped the half with a steal and a jumper at the buzzer for a 37-6 lead, and the advantage reached its largest at 44-6 when Collman fed Dunlap for a layup midway through the third quarter.
“We definitely played our game tonight, and we didn’t play our game the other night,” Lester said, contrasting the team’s performance with how it played in Tuesday’s loss to Pendleton. “We were a lot more focused tonight. Our game on Tuesday we were really nervous and came out really jittery.”
La Grande shot 44 percent from the floor in the first half, and hit at a 36-percent clip for the game. The Tigers also held Mac-Hi to just a 20-percent shooting performance, collected 17 steals and outrebounded the Pioneers 41-25. Dunlap was huge part of the rebounding success for the Tigers.
“We’ve been kind of hard on her as far as the rebounding aspect because she’s our biggest player, but she really responded well,” MacKay said. “She’s done a great job rebounding. Last couple games I felt like she’s really been assertive at blocking out, tracking down and taking rebounds.”
Hermiston 67, La Grande 38: The Tigers fell behind by double digits in the first quarter and never bounced back as Hermiston outscored La Grande in each quarter en route to a nonleague victory.
La Grande found itself behind 22-9 after one quarter and 36-18 by halftime. The Tigers were hurt by a rough shooting night, hitting at just a 29-percent clip. They also turned the ball over 27 times.
Camryn Collman scored 17 points and had six rebounds for La Grande. Jacie Howton had a team-best seven boards. Lauran Rinker added three steals.
The TIgers (7-8 overall, 2-0 GOL) face Hermiston again Tuesday, this time on the road.