Iliana Telles, Brooke McCall and Lori Cimmiyotti will see teams try to clamp defensively in order to stop them.
When that occurs, the onus is on other players to jump into the fray to add offensive and defensive contributions.
Jennifer Bonham, Ivorie Taylor, Jodi Thomasian and Kailin Hoylman combined for 35 points, and The Dalles broke open a 35-31 lead with a 14-8 run in the final six minutes and 15 seconds of the fourth quarter to secure a 49-39 victory over Pendleton Friday in a Columbia River Conference girls’ basketball game played in The Dalles.
That quartet not only contributed on the scoring sheet with a 16 of 29 shooting effort, but also chipped in 10 assists, 11 rebounds and four steals.
“Everyone on this team is important for our success, but I am super proud of Ivorie and Jen,” Thomasian said. “Ivorie didn’t even play half of a quarter and she scored the same amount of points as some of the girls who played the whole game. She goes hard. She definitely fits in. Jen, she definitely had a breakout game and there is more to come from her.”
TD missed its first eight shots from the floor in the opening quarter and fell behind 9-2 after a layup by Pendleton’s Shelby Greb with 4:27 on the clock.
Both teams traded five points apiece in the final 1:32, capped by a 3-pointer from Haley Greb to make it a 14-7 Buck lead after one frame.
Coming off a double-digit home loss to No. 5 Hermiston last week and falling behind early against Pendleton, there was an added sense of urgency in the huddle before the start of the second quarter.
“This was a pretty important game. It would decide where we finish in league,” Taylor said. “In the first part of it, we were just not there. We were a little bit slow and it kind of got to our heads. We all knew that we needed to go a lot harder if we wanted to go to the playoffs or even a play-in, so we turned it around and started playing harder from then on.”
The Riverhawks fired away for a 9-0 spurt in the first five minutes of the second quarter on a layup and a 3-pointer by McCall, a baseline jumper from Hoylman and a layup by Bonham for their first lead of the game, 16-14, at the 2:57 mark.
With time running out, Pendleton’s Tatum Fell sank a mid-range jumper in the paint at the buzzer to send both teams to the locker room even at 18-apiece.
The Dalles outscored Pendleton 15-11 in the third quarter and held a 35-31 lead with 6:29 left in the fourth.
Taylor would then add a free throw and follow up with a rebound and a putback, and then Bonham sank consecutive layups to give TD a 42-32 lead with less than three minutes remaining.
After a Pendleton miss on its next possession, McCall answered with a 3-pointer and Hoylman then grabbed a steal and went coast-to-coast for a layup to make it a 15-point lead, 47-32, with 2:18 remaining.
Bonham led the Riverhawks with 12 points, on 6 of 7 shooting, McCall had nine points, six rebounds and four assists, and Hoylman had nine points, seven assists, three steals and three rebounds.
Taylor scored five points and added three boards, and Thomasian went for nine points, three rebounds and two assists for the Hawks, who shot 14 of 27 in the second half.
“It was a great night,” said Bonham, who scored eight of her points in the second half. “Just being able to finish shots down low made me happy because I wanted to do whatever I could to help the team out. Pendleton was kind of over-playing our posts a lot of the time and we were able to take advantage of it and take the lead.”
For the Buckaroos, Haley Greb had 10 points and Shelby Greb added seven points, six rebounds and three assists.
Pendleton shot 14 of 43 for the game, but went 6 of 24 in the second half.
The Dalles has a big week coming up with a home game at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday against Hood River Valley, and then a road date at Hermiston.
Riverhawk coach Craig Compton is sure to hammer home the thought process of not overlooking Marlie Bloomster and the Eagles, who are 3-12 on the season.
Bonham, a senior, is just hoping for consistent play for 32 minutes.
“We definitely got to keep the ball rolling and keep fighting hard and working hard at practice,” she said. “We have Hood River on Tuesday, so we will be practicing over the weekend to make sure that we can get through them and then Hermiston next Friday. We just got come out and play hard, be focused and mentally prepared because we have so much on the line.”