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CHS Girls Basketball

Bruins outlast Redsides

Columbia High overcame a slow start here Dec. 12 to win its non-league girls basketball game against South Wasco County, 41-39.

The Bruins (3-0) fell behind 6-0 and trailed 10-3 midway through the first quarter before going on an 8-0 run that netted them their first lead of the game.

CHS's surge featured two baskets by guard Michelle McMillen (the first off an assist from center Lacey Kruse, the second after a steal), a layin by Kruse and a bucket forward/guard by Ericka Ziegler.

In the second quarter, Columbia used a 6-0 run (a basket and two free throws by point guard Chelan Weiler, and a fastbreak bucket by McMillen off an outlet pass from forward Jenny Pulido) to build what would be its biggest lead of the night: five points at 22-17.

But the visiting Redsides hung in, playing a slow-down style of basketball that milked the 30-second shot clock and forced the Bruins to play defense for a full half minute.

That approach helped South Wasco score eight of the period's final 11 points and forge a 25-all tie at the intermission.

At the start of the third quarter, the Redsides quickly broke the tie.

Point guard Leah Kresse drained a 3-pointer to put South Wasco up by three, and one possession later, forward Annie Larlee scored underneath off an inbounds play to make it 30-25.

But back came the Bruins. Center Kelsey Kidd hit twice from the paint and Ziegler scored on a putback (she drew a foul but missed the free throw) as CHS regained the lead at 31-30.

The seesaw quarter ended with a free throw by Weiler that knotted the score at 32-32.

In the fourth, Pulido got the Bruins started with a basket off a post move. McMillen added a free throw and scored on another fastbreak (this time off a Ziegler assist) to give CHS a 37-34 edge.

That's as much as the Bruins would lead by the rest of the way (39-36 on a basket by Pulido, and 40-37 with 1:29 to play after a free throw by Kidd).

South Wasco, for its part, kept the game close by sinking 3-of-4 free throws in the final 1:41; that included a 2-for-2 effort by Hailey Hauser with 50 seconds left that narrowed CHS's lead to 40-39.

After a change of possession, South Wasco called timeout with 28 seconds to go to set its strategy for a game-winning shot.

After inbounding the ball in their frontcourt, the Resides worked the ball around the perimeter. With 5 seconds on the game clock, they got a good shot from about 17 feet, to the right of the jump circle.

But Megan Ferrell's shot was long (it hit the back iron of the rim) and, at about the same time, the buzzer signaling a shot-clock violation sounded. In the confusion, both teams stopped competing.

After sorting things out, the three-man officiating crew working the game awarded the ball out of bounds to CHS under South Wasco's basket--the arrow used to determine alternating possession was pointed in the Bruins' direction.

Columbia got the ball in to Weiler, who was immediately fouled by Kresse with one tick left on the clock.

Anticlimactically, Weiler went to the line in the double bonus. She dropped in the first free throw to put CHS up 41-39, then missed the second.

On the miss, the ball became live, the clock started and time expired.

Weiler finished with eight points (4/5 FTs), as did Ziegler. Team scoring honors went to McMillen, who ended up with a career-high nine.

All told, the game featured four ties and 12 lead changes, and 30 free-throw attempts (CHS was 8/18, SWC 10/12).

Moreover, most of the Bruins' 16 baskets came from inside 10 feet. The only outside shot they made was a 3-pointer by Pulido in the first quarter that tied the score at 14-all.

Annie Larlee paced South Wasco with a game-high 17 points. Hauser added 10 points and 12 rebounds.


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