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Pirates set tone early in Bear Mountain tourney

By BEN MCCARTY

News staff writer

December 30, 2006

The Cascade Locks Pirates wasted no time in showing opponents who are the teams to beat in the early games of the inaugural Bear Mountain Classic Tournament on Thursday in Cascade Locks.

The Pirate girls, bolstered by the return of senior scoring threat Heather Mohr, rolled past the C.S. Lewis Watchmen 49-30. In the final game of the day, the Pirate boys jumped all over the Jewell Blue Jays 60-22.

After to losing Mohr to an ankle injury for the last several games, her return seemed to help calm the Pirate girls on offense and defense whenever the team hit a rough stretch in the game.

Mohr led the Pirates with 21 points, while Kristen Rutherford contributed 11 despite getting in foul trouble early.

Mikayla Ryan added 6 points and had 16 rebounds on the night. She also gave C.S. Lewis defenders fits in the low post all night, and helped two Watchmen players foul out by the beginning of the fourth quarter.

Cascade Locks Coach Donna Nolin kept Mohr on the bench for long stretches to ease her back into the action and was pleased with the end result.

“She did well,” Nolin said. “We took it easy with her tonight.”

Cascade Locks was able to put together several scoring spurts to get leads in the first half, only to see the Watchmen girls get right back in the game with accurate three-point shooting by Natalie Nibler each time.

However, with the game tied at 20-20, Mohr helped jump-start a defensive surge by the Pirates with a steal and a lay-up on the other end. For the rest of the second quarter, the five Pirates on the floor – Mohr, Leah Stratton, Robin Cook, Ryan and Jamie Cantwell – harassed the Watchmen into continuous turnovers that enabled the Pirates to hold a 32-23 advantage at halftime.

“This was a good team effort,” Nolin said of her team’s ability to take control of the game in the second quarter.

In a second half where neither team was able to get much offensive momentum going, that 9 point lead would prove to be more than enough for the Pirates.

The Pirates held C.S. Lewis to just two points in the third quarter while they stretched their lead to 16 points, and while the Watchmen were able to find some rhythm in the fourth quarter it was far too little and far too late to make any difference as the Pirates continued to find ways to score down the stretch and put the game away.

“We were a little short-handed so tonight was not a good time to be in foul trouble,” C.S. Lewis coach Doug Scott said. “Cascade Locks made the shots the needed too and that was the difference tonight.

In the earlier girls’ game Jewel ldefeated Arlington and faced the Pirates in the girls’ tournament championship game Friday night.

On the boys’ side the Pirates showed no mercy to an overmatched Jewell team as they jumped out to a 22-4 lead by the end of the first quarter.

Derrick Harbaugh led the Pirate scoring onslaught with 22 points in the game while Derek Kelley added 16 points.

Jewell did manage to get the lead down to 15 points by halftime, but that was as close as the Blue Jays would get.

After the break the Pirates locked down on defense and continued to pull away before Coach Phil Nolin pulled most of his starters when the lead nearly reached 30 early in fourth. The second string did not have much of a dropoff as it continued to force Blue Jay turnovers, even after switching to half court defense.

The sole highlight for the Blue Jays came when Will Steinweg threw down a thunderous dunk after a steal in the final minutes of the game.

After the game, Nolin was mostly happy with his team’s effort and ability to spread the scoring around and the contribution he got from the bench.

“We got to even up the scoring and we didn’t have much of a letdown when we went to the bench,” he said.

In the early boys’ game C.S. Lewis defeated Arlington and played the Pirates in the boys Championship game on Friday night.

For championship round results see the mid-week issue of the Hood River News.

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