An early lead and burst of energy in the third quarter gave the Monument/Dayville Tigers an edge for their 38-36 win over the Grant Union Prospector junior varsity team Jan. 9 in John Day.
Monument/Dayville leaped to an 8-4 lead in the first quarter.
Tigers Aubrey Bowlus and Denali Twehues added 2 each to start the second, then Bowlus scored again after teammate Kyla Emerson rebounded.
Grant Union’s Kori Jo Girvin nabbed a steal and a rebound with Baylee Combs cashing in for 2 points and landing a 3-pointer. Marissa Smith also contributed 2 points.
Faythe Schafer added 2 for the Tigers in the final seconds to give Monument/Dayville a 16-11 lead going into the second half.
Prospector Tyler Blood started the scoring in the third with a 2-point shot, but Monument/Dayville ended up outshooting the Prospectors 12-6 for an 11-point lead.
Grant Union fired up in the final 8 minutes, outscoring the Tigers 19-10.
Alcie Moore contributed 9 of her 13 points in the fourth.
Makenna Culley scored twice beyond the arc for the Prospectors, her second shot bringing the score to 30-27, the Tigers leading.
Twehues answered back with a 3-pointer.
With 3:45 left in the game, the scoring went back and forth.
Tiger Danielle Rhoda went 2-2 at the free-throw line for a 36-32 lead in the final minute.
Moore scored twice to tie it 36-36.
With just 10 seconds to go, Twehues and Emerson each sank a free-throw shot to give the Tigers the 2-point victory.
Grant Union junior varsity coach Kristi Moore said her girls played aggressively and never gave up.
“It was a good learning lesson for us to play hard from second one,” she said.
Moore said when they regrouped at halftime, she told the girls, “Let’s play our game and play aggressively and attack.”
“The Monument/Dayville team had great hands and were aggressive to get the ball,” she said. “They made us work for it, and we look forward to a rematch.”
Tiger head coach Taylor Schmadeka said he was pleased with his team’s improvement boxing out their opponents and that the girls didn’t hang their heads when they made mistakes.
“They were more aggressive on offense and the defensive side,” he said. “At the very end, we found a way to win.”
He added, “I was proud of a couple of the girls for making the free throws at the end when they mattered.”
Emerson, who led her team in scoring with 13, said that after two league losses their team came together.
Schafer agreed it was their togetherness that pushed them past the tie for the win.
As the Tigers move forward, Schafer said she expects to see “growth of the team and our chemistry, working the ball down low and hopefully faster.”
Grant Union will host Elgin Friday with the junior varsity girls playing at 3 p.m. and the varsity girls at 6 p.m.
The Prospectors are on the road to Union Saturday with junior varsity girls playing at 1 p.m. and varsity girls at 4 p.m.
Monument/Dayville will host Burnt River in Monument at 6 p.m. Friday. Then they travel to Ontario Saturday to face Four Rivers junior varsity at 2 p.m. (MT). On Tuesday, Jan 16, at 5 p.m. the Tigers host Ukiah/Long Creek in Dayville.
Kyla Emerson: 13 points
Danielle Rhoda: 9
Aubrey Bowlus: 7
Denali Twehues: 6
Faythe Schafer: 3
Alcie Moore: 13
Makenna Culley: 6
Kaytlyn Wells: 6
Baylee Combs: 5
Marissa Smith: 4
Tyler Blood: 2