LA GRANDE — Brian Wright’s message to the La Grande Tigers girls basketball team Friday night was not to overlook visiting Ontario.
“Basically we gotta win every league game,” Wright said.
And the Tigers were listening to the LHS head coach.
Ella Dunlap had a strong start and finished with a double-double, and the Tigers opened the game on a 25-4 run on the way to a 68-25 home beatdown of Ontario in Greater Oregon League play.
“We talked about before the game (how) sometimes you get a team that's not as good as you and you look past them to games on down the line,” Wright said. “We played really good defense in that first half, kept them in front of us, and we were able to get out and run. Kids were working hard.”
Dunlap scored eight straight points early with a pair of putbacks and a top-of-the-key jumper as La Grande scored the first nine points. The lead reached double figures when Brooklyn Hutchins hit a pair of jumpers. Alexyss Chamberlain wrapped the first quarter with a 3-pointer for an 18-4 lead, and the rout was on.
Camryn Collman’s first 3-pointer, a field goal by Grace Neer and another basket from Dunlap capped the extended early run and pushed the margin to 21 at the half, 36-15, when Dunlap scored again down low in the closing moments.
“She really did (play well),” Wright said of Dunlap, who finished with a game-high 17 points and 10 rebounds. “Good night for her.”
It was a good night across the board for La Grande, which was able to get 10 players in the scoring column. Collman finished with 14 points and hit a trio of 3-pointers. McKaylee Orton added eight points, including a late field goal to give La Grande a 49-22 lead after three quarters. Orton also had a pair of fourth-quarter 3-pointers. Lauran Rinker added six points for the Tigers.
Ontario, which was held to just two field goals in the second half and only 10 points after the break was led by Isabelle Esquivel, who had 11 points.
La Grande (13-6 overall, 3-2 GOL) visits Powder Valley Saturday.