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Redsides keep Pirates on playoff bubble

By JOE NOLIN

For the News

February 10, 2007

In a Tuesday night barn-burner, a defiant Cascade Locks team succumbed to the South Wasco Redsides 33-27. As with several other Pirate games this season, the game came down to the wire, both teams neck and neck until the final buzzer. The Redsides were also able to overwhelm the Pirate girls to get a 55-35 win.

Daniel Nolin and Derrick Harbaugh led the Pirate boys on the offensive end with Nolin finishing with 12 points. Robbie Hinckley and Michael Burgett led the way for South Wasco. Hinckley finished with 11 and Burgett with 9 points.

With four minutes to go in the game, the Pirates tied the score at 26-26 after trailing for most of the second half, and the game returned to a slower, defensive pace once that had marked its early goings. South Wasco took a 30-26 lead into the final minute, and would get no closer than three points the rest of the game. The Pirates had two chances to tie it up in the last minute, as the Redsides struggled to close the game out from the free throw line, but they missed on both three point attempts.

From the early stages of the game, it was apparent that neither team would give ground easily. The Redsides (16-6, 13-1 Big Sky) wanted to maintain their hold on first place in the Big Sky West, while the Pirates (11-10, 7-7 Big Sky) needed a win to keep pace with Dufur in the hunt for the third and final slot in the divisions district playoff.

Despite the loss, the Pirates hold a tie-breaker on the Rangers for third place, as they have beaten Dufur twice this season. The Pirates can clinch a playoff spot with a win and a Dufur loss, or two wins.

South Wasco could not get ahead by more than 4 points in the first quarter while the second quarter started with more of the same intense, defense oriented play seen in the first, scoring kept to a minimal. Halfway through the second quarter Cascade Locks started to pull ahead, scoring several buckets using an effective zone offense. Near the close of the first half Cascade Locks began holding the ball to run time off the clock, keeping the ball on their end of the court for almost two minutes.

However, the Redsides stole the ball in the final seconds and made a buzzer-beater three to trim the Pirate lead to 16-14 at the half. Despite Cascade Locks’ tough defense and patience on offense in the second half, the Redsides played relentlessly, and took the lead midway through the third quarter.

Heather Mohr led the Cascade Locks girls, with 22 points. Teammates Mikayla Ryan, and Brianne Mohr made important contributions as well, Ryan finishing with 9, Mohr with 4. The Redsides were led in scoring by Hailey Hauser, and Annie Larlee, Hauser finishing with 18, Larlee 14.

South Wasco (16-6, 11-3 Big Sky) went on a quick scoring run, to take an early lead over Cascade Locks (6-14, 3-11). However, the Pirates came out with ample intensity as well, playing tough defense against the physical Redsides. Although South Wasco now had a confident lead, they couldn’t seem to shake the determined Pirates, who were persistently aggressive on both offense and defense. With the start of the second half, South Wasco came out ready to shake the pesky Pirates. Quickly scoring several buckets at the start of the third quarter, they established a more domineering lead. Cascade Locks began catching up once again, prompting several attempts from the Redsides to re-establish their momentum. The third quarter closed with South Wasco in the lead, 37-23. The fourth fared better for South Wasco who out-rebounded Cascade Locks, and forced several turnovers to finish off the Pirates.

The final home game for the Pirate team is Saturday against Echo with the girls tipping off at 4 p.m. and the boys at 5:30 p.m.

Ben McCarty contributed to this story.

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