COULEE DAM – Oroville’s girls basketball team wasn’t able to upset Lake Roosevelt.
But their 56-50 loss to the Raiders on Friday, Jan. 13, certainly sent a message.
The Hornets rallied from a 16-point second half deficit to tie the game late in the fourth quarter before falling to last year’s surprise team that finished third at the state 2B tournament and returned nearly intact for this season.
The Raiders, experienced as they are at winning close games after last year’s run, made the big plays down the stretch to hold off the Hornets. That wasn’t enough to dampen coach Mike Bourn’s mood.
“We’re starting to ‘get it,'” Bourn said. “We have some ability. When we play with the kind of intensity and pride we did tonight, we can play with a team like Lake Roosevelt.”
The Hornets had to dig deep to get back in this one. Lake Roosevelt’s 12-point run late in the first quarter snapped a 9-9 tie and was most of the difference in the score at the half, which ended with the Raiders up 35-22.
It was 38-22 before the Hornets answered with a 10-point run, sparked by eight points by Naomi Peters, who finished with a season-high 22.
“Naomi’s struggled shooting all year,” Bourn said. “Tonight I told her to just think about and concentrate on her defense. Usually when that happens, the offense will come.”
It took another big run to catch the Raiders. Kelsey Hughes, still battling back from a three-week layoff, completed a 3-point play to set off a 12-2 run that included a pair of turnaround jumpers by Lily Hilderbrand and a 3-point play from Peters that tied it at 44-44.
“Too many times a team just tries to get it all back at once,” Bourn said. “We did a good job of just chipping away at the lead.
“Lily is getting tougher and Kelsey is getting stronger, and that’s going to make a huge difference if they can keep doing that.”
LR sharpshooter Brianna Monaghan responded with six quick points to put the Raiders back up by six, but treys by Hilderbrand and Peters tied it again with two minutes to play.
That tie lasted just five seconds as the Raiders hit Roweena Antone with a full-court pass for a 3-point play and standout guard Dominique Pleasants added another 3-point play for the final points of the night.
Pleasants finished with 19 to lead the Raiders (8-4, 4-1 CWL North Division), with Antone adding 10.
Hilderbrand added 13 for the Hornets (6-5, 1-2) and Hughes had nine. Sierra Speiker, despite going scoreless, played a key role by holding up under Desautel’s high-intensity full court defense, as well as keeping the potent Raider guard off the scoreboard in the second half.
“Sierra did a great job, and Naomi did a great job on Pleasants,” Bourn said. “Pleasants is the real deal and is going to get hers no matter what you do, but I thought we played her as well as we could have.
“We showed tonight we can play with teams like this. The next step is showing we can play against teams like this consistently and getting to where we can beat them.”
Chelan 57, Oroville 32
CHELAN – A 22-9 second quarter put the game out of reach for Chelan on Thursday, Jan. 12, as the Goats rolled to a 57-32 non-league victory over the Hornets in a game rescheduled from December.
“We played a lot of kids, with it being a non-league game,” Bourn said. “We didn’t have a lot of intensity. The kids had been looking forward to playing Lake Roosevelt all season, and I think they were looking ahead (to Friday) a little bit.”
Kelsey Hughes scored nine points, with Sierra Speiker and Briana Moralez adding six apiece.
Chelan’s Megan Robinson led all scorers with 17 points.
Pateros 58, Oroville 40
OROVILLE – Chancy Gill scored a career-high 37 points to lead Pateros to a surprisingly-easy 58-40 victory over the Hornets on Tuesday, Jan. 10.
“We were pretty lethargic,” Bourn said. “I think Pateros was better than we thought they were, and we didn’t match their energy. Chancy’s a pretty good player, but we shouldn’t be giving up 37 points like that.”
The Hornets trailed 22-17 after a fast-paced first quarter, but managed just three points in the second and trailed 34-20 at the half.
Jamie Bruno added 13 points for the Nannies (9-4, 3-2), while Briana Moralez and Lily Hilderbrand each scored 10 to lead the Hornets.