A fourth-quarter scoring flurry from a freshman was the boost Joseph needed to fend off Jordan Valley in its toughest matchup of the young season.
Sabrina Albee hit a pair of 3-pointers and scored 10 of her 18 points in the fourth and the Eagles made the key plays down the stretch for a 50-44 win over the Mustangs Friday in the OOL/HDL Invitational at Quinn Coliseum.
“She didn’t hit any 3s last weekend in Arlington, and she’s by far our best 3-point shooter,” Eagles head coach Lance Homan said. “(I told her), ‘When the first one goes through it will come.’ She can shoot it from anywhere, just about.”
Albee showed that 3-point potential in the final quarter, which the teams entered tied at 36-all. The elusive first 3-pointer of the season gave the Eagles a 39-38 lead early in the fourth. She grabbed a steal and converted a layup to give Joseph the lead back at 41-40, then hit a clutch 3 from about 25 feet out — right in front of Homan — for a 44-40 edge.
“She just does her job. Whatever she can do to help win is what she does,” Homan said.
She added another layup with 1:12 to play to keep the Eagles ahead by four and Haley Miller iced the win with a rebound and putback for the final margin with 23 seconds left.
Homan was pleased with how his team held up in its first close game of the season — the Eagles’ previous wins were by 24 and 37 points — especially given several players had been battling illness earlier in the week.
“It was kind of, ‘Who’s going to show up and how’s it going to go?’ They played well for their first test,” Homan said. “We’ve got a lot to work on but I was super proud of the way they finished.”
Alexis Sykora scored a game-high 19 points, including 10 in the first half, as the Eagles raced out to a 16-9 first-quarter lead.
But Jordan Valley fought back. Regann Skinner, who scored 17 points, hit a runner to tie the score at 20-all in the second quarter. Sykora added two late baskets to give the Eagles a 24-21 lead at the break. Joseph briefly pushed the lead back to 31-24 on a 3 by Emma Hite, who had nine points, but Jordan Valley scored the next eight to take a 32-31 lead on Nicole Terry’s rebound and putback. Neither team led by more than four points the rest of the way until Miller’s final basket.
Elgin 45, Pine Eagle 20: Hannah McClure led the Huskies with 20 points, Jaiyen Palmer had nine as Elgin earned its third victory of the season. Elgin outscored Pine Eagle in each quarter and led 18-10 at the break.
Adrian 28, Cove 23: Sophia Pettit led the way with 14 points but the Leopards lost for the second time this season. Despite a promising 10-6 score with Cove leading in the first quarter, Adrian ralled to take a 17-15 led at the break on its way to the win. Cove (1-2 overall) visits Joseph Friday.
Irrigon 67, Imbler 40: Caysie McGinnes recorded 13 points and Hannah Kilpatrick scored 10, but it was not enough for the Panthers to overcome a 23-7 first-quarter deficit.
Monument/Dayville 60, Wallowa 49: The Cougars suffered their fourth loss of the season at the Wallowa Lions Tournament. Stats were not available.
Enterprise 62, Griswold 38: Riley Gray scored 12 points to lead three Outlaws in double figures and nine in scoring as Enterprise opened the Enterprise Winter Classic with a comfortable win over Griswold.
Reece Christman added a strong all-around effort with 11 points, seven rebounds, seven assists and seven steals. Lexie Gassett scored 11 points and had five assists.
The Outlaws outscored the Grizzlies in each quarter, led 34-24 at the break and gradually pulled away for the win.
Union 42, Echo 34: Katie Good scored 25 points and Abriel O’Reilly had nine as the Bobcats took down Echo for their third win of the season.
The Bobcats held just a one-point first-quarter lead, but took control in the second for a 25-17 lead at the break.
Joseph 44, Crane 20: Alexis Sykora scored 20 points, including 14 in the third quarter, and the Eagles finished 2-0 at the OOL/HDL Invitational at Eastern Oregon University.
Sykora’s big quarter helped Joseph pull away from the Mustangs. The Eagles had just a 19-13 lead at the break, but netted 20 points in the period. Sykora’s third-quarter effort doubled what Crane scored the entire second half.
Emma Hite added 13 points for Joseph (4-0 overall), which hosts Cove Friday.
Heppner 49, Imbler 27: Hannah Kilpatrick scored eight points, but Imbler couldn’t keep up with the Mustangs. Trinity McKaig, Caysie McGinness and Anika McDonald each added five points.
The Panthers (2-3 overall) fell behind 17-6 in the first quarter and trailed througout. Imbler (2-3 overall) hosts Heppner Friday.
Enterprise 63, Elgin 40: Ashley Exon scored 20 points, Karli Bedard had a double-double and the Outlaws used a big second quarter to pull away from Elgin in the finale of the Enterprise Winter Classic, which also doubled as a Wapiti League preview.
Enterprise led by just five after one quarter, but outscored the Huskies 25-14 in the second to go ahead 34-18 at the break and never look back.
Bedard tallied 12 points and 15 rebounds, and also added five steals. Both Ashlyn Gray and Lexie Gassett scored nine points for Enterprise (4-1 overall), which visits McLoughlin Tuesday.
Jayden Palmer scored 15 points and Hannah McClure had 13 for Elgin, and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Elgin (3-1) visits La Grande Monday.
Powder Valley 61, Dufur 23: Kim Williams led a balanced attack with 11 points, and the Badgers bolted to a 33-point halftime lead on their way to a dominant win at Dufur Saturday.
Josie Ash had 10 points and four rebounds and Autumn Davis added nine points. The Badgers raced out to a 20-5 first-quarter-lead, and extended it to 42-9 by the break.
The Badgers (3-0 overall) travel to Pine Eagle Friday to begin Old Oregon League play.
Wallowa 56, Huntington 9: The Cougars smashed the Locomotives for their second victory of the season. Stats were not provided. Wallowa (2-4 overall) visits Nixyaawii Friday.
Pilot Rock 33, Union 23: Katie Good scored eight points and Abriel O’Reilly had six, but the Bobcats were unable to overcome a rough second quarter and took their second loss.
Pilot Rock pulled ahead after the teams battled to an 11-all score in the first to take a 20-13 lead at the break and 27-19 in the third quarter.
The Bobcats (3-2 overall) hosts Irrigon Friday.