The No. 5-ranked Dufur Rangers could not find their groove Saturday, as the No. 1 and undefeated Condon-Wheeler Knights turned numerous turnovers into easy scoring chances for a 72-44 victory in Big Sky Conference girl’s hoops action in Condon.
“They were pressing the entire time through three quarters,” said Dufur head coach Hollie Darden. “Then we started turning the basketball over and they got some easy ones. They got their feet under them again and continued to make us turn the ball over and they got some easy looks and hit some threes.”
Aside from the final score, the Lady Rangers bolted out of the blocks for an 11-2 lead in the first half of the opening frame.
Once the final buzzer rang out, Dufur inched ahead by a slim 19-17 margin.
However, the Lady Knights got their wits about them and used the second quarter for a 28-7 run to go out in front, 45-26.
Condon then padded its lead in the third quarter, using a 13-2 spurt to swell the advantage out to 58-28.
“In the first quarter, we were competitive,” coach Darden said. “Once they got going, they outplayed us in every single facet of the game. They outrebounded us, they backdoor cut us to the basket, and they beat us off the dribble. It was a combination of all of those things.”
Aimeelyn Miller led the Rangers with 13 points, Kelly Heemsah added 10 and Sammi Ghramm reeled off an eight-point effort.
All told, Dufur sank 18 field goals, two from long range, and tacked on a 6 for 12 split from the free throw line.
Ellie Logan paced the Knight offense with 19 points, Matney Jamieson dropped 14 and Deana Harris was good for 12 points.
Coach Darden is still juggling roster combinations as the team hits its stride for the final nine regular season games.
If things keep progressing, maybe their play can pave a road to another matchup against the Knights.
“We can compete with them,” the Ranger coach said. “The biggest thing is we cannot turn the basketball over like we did — whether it is Condon or any other team. Condon has a lot of weapons and they are athletic. They play hard, they are long and they have kids that can get off the floor. If we can have the spacing and take care of the ball better with better decision making, I can see us competing better against them.”
Dufur (13-3 overall, 7-1 league) is in Portland at 6 p.m. tonight for a game against City Christian.
At 6 p.m. Friday, they host Sherman.