The Dalles senior Jodi Thomasian was a pivotal figure in her team’s comeback 45-42 win Friday against Hood River Valley. The Riverhawks hit 8 of 9 free throws and used a 17-9 fourth-quarter spurt to score a season-saving 45-42 win.
As of Saturday, February 10, 2018
With three minutes left in the first quarter, time was stopped for 20 minutes as The Dalles point guard Paulina Finn had a bloody gash to her forehead with her skull exposed after colliding with teammate Bailey LeBreton on a loose ball.
The senior was transported to a local hospital for evaluation and did not sustain a concussion, but received 10 stitches.
Early prognosis looks like she could be out for the rest of the season.
After facing that level of adversity in a must-win game, The Dalles girls’ basketball team rallied behind Finn with a 17-9 fourth-quarter run to take hold of a 45-42 triumph over Hood River Valley Friday in a Columbia River Conference matchup played in Hood River.
“Seeing Paulina go down was definitely scary,” TD senior Jodi Thomasian said. “In the midst of all that chaos, we prayed and told each other we were going to keep everything up and play our hearts out. I’m extremely proud of my team for last night’s performance. They truly stepped their game up entirely and fought until the end.”
The Dalles trailed by five points entering the final period, 33-28, as Bailey LeBreton scored eight points, Kilee Hoylman added five and Thomasian had four points to spark the rally.
Following a HRV 3-pointer with 1:48 left in regulation, Hoylman grabbed the inbounds pass, dribbled down the floor and calmly swished a 3-pointer, which gave TD the lead for good.
“That was a very clutch shot for a first-time varsity player and a sophomore to boot,” TD head coach Brian Stevens said. “That girl had straight ice water in her veins.”
The Riverhawks kept the Eagles at bay by sinking 8 of 9 free throws in the fourth period, including 4 of 5 from LeBreton.
For the game, LeBreton posted 16 points, Thomasian added 14, and Hoylman finished with 11 points, as The Dalles shot 14 of 39 from the field, 3 of 8 on 3-pointers, and converted 14 of 22 free throws.
TD (7-13 overall, 1-5 league) out-rebounded Hood River 24-22 and forced 22 Eagle turnovers compared to 16.
“Jodi controlled the flow of the game, setting the offense up, attacking the key and getting her teammates the ball in places they could score,” Stevens said. “Molly (Taylor) and Jenna (Miller) played incredible defense and shut down shooters. Lauryn (Belanger) got big rebound after big rebound, boxing out players that were taller and bigger than her. It was a good team win.”
Emily Curtis totaled 21 points, Haylee Baker tacked on 12, and Lauren Orr chipped in six points for the Eagles (9-11, 1-5), who made 13 of 32 shots, 7 of 21 3-pointers, and 9 of 12 from the free throw line.
After pleas to return to action were denied, Finn called over LeBreton and offered words of encouragement to her teammate.
“Whatever Paulina said, it must have motivated Bailey,” Stevens said. “Bailey was the Most Valuable Player of the game. She dominated the key on both sides of the court. Hood River could not work the ball in the post effectively. On offense, Bailey went to work. Every time she caught the ball, she went middle, rose up over the defenders and made a bucket. In the process, she opened up the floor and allowed her teammates to get wide open shots.”
Coming back from a deficit and an injury were major steps forward for a team loaded with inexperienced varsity players.
With Finn likely out, Stevens is hoping to get his young players out on the court confident and ready to contribute.
The first test is at 7 p.m. Tuesday at Kurtz Gym versus Hermiston (8-13, 4-2).
“Going forward, we will have to make some tweaks to what we do,” Stevens said. “Every team we play, game plans to shut down Paulina. That will change now. Other girls are going to have to step up and learn how to play against another team’s best defender, along with getting double-teamed. We get back to work today (Saturday).”