The Dayville/Monument Tiger girls defeated the Harper Hornets 40-35 in game one on Thursday at the District 8 1A Tournament held at Grant Union Junior-Senior High School in John Day.
Dayville/Monument entered the game seeded No. 2 for the west side, and the Hornets, No. 3 for the east.
The Tigers fired up after trailing 6-4 in the first quarter.
Harper Alexis Wilson, who led both teams with 16 points in the game, sank two 3-pointers in the first, and Dayville/Monument's Aubrey Bowlus scored two 2-point shots.
Dayville/Monument's shots started falling in the second, and the Tigers held Harper to 2 points, leading 19-8 at the half.
Tiger Denali Twehues player of the game, was a force to reckon with on the defensive side, and all 8 of her points were earned at the free-throw line.
Dayville/Monument head coach Taylor Schmadeka said Twehues always gives 100 percent, especially defensively.
"She's also a good dribbler, shooter — she's solid," the coach said.
Kyla Emerson led Dayville/Monument in scoring with 13 points, including two 3-pointers in the third. Tiger Faythe Schafer and Emerson also each landed a 3-point shot in the third.
The Tigers led 33-15 heading into the final eight minutes, and four players from the Tiger bench entered the fray, including Haylee Collins who started the scoring in the fourth with a 3-pointer.
The Hornets, led by head coach Justin Johnson, came within 3 points of the Tigers in the final seconds of play, after Harper's Kylee Jager sank two 3-pointers in a row, and the Dayville/Monument starters re-entered the game to hold off the threat for the 5-point win.
"It's a big win for us," Schmadeka said. "In the last two years, we haven't won the first rounds, but have gone on to consolation, so it feels really good to get into the games that take you to state, potentially."
He said his team had a slow start, possibly due to tournament jitters.
"Then we started getting the rhythm going," he said. "We started playing some good defense as well and got some good turnovers and that always helps the offensive side."
The Tigers will face the east side's top-seeded Jordan Valley Mustangs at 6 p.m. Saturday.
Kyla Emerson: 13 points (two 3-pointers, 1-1 free throws)
Denali Twehues: 8 (8-12 free throws)
Courtney Nichols: 7 (one 3-pointer)
Aubrey Bowlus: 4
Faythe Schafer: 3 (1-2 free throws)
Haylee Collins: 3 (one 3-pointer)
Aubreianna Osborne: 2 (2-3 free throws)
Alexis Wilson: 16 (two 3-pointers, 2-4 free throws)
Kylee Jager: 13 (three 3-pointers)
Haylee Dobson: 2
Elena Fenn: 2
Hannah Amick: 2