The Grant Union Lady Prospectors emerged from a Saturday showdown in Enterprise at the top of the 2A Wapiti League.
The Grant Union girls claimed a 34-33 victory over the Outlaws in what was a nail-biter to the very end.
“It was a very intense contest,” said Grant Union head coach Mark Mosley.
The teams ran within several points of each other throughout the game, the Lady Pros taking a 15-10 lead at halftime.
The game came down to the fourth quarter.
“We missed several free throws that could have sealed the game for us, but they found other ways,” Mosley said. “(Prospector) Madi McKrola made a key offensive rebound at the end of the game and pulled the ball out.”
Grant Union kept possession for the one-point win.
“Offensively, we did not play extremely well, but the girls found a way to grind it out,” Mosley said. “I’m extremely proud of them for the way they hung in there. It was a great learning experience.”
Grant Union now travels to the Wapiti District Tournament scheduled for Friday and Saturday at Eastern Oregon University in La Grande.
As the No. 1 seed, Grant Union receives a bye on Friday, and plays its first game at 6 p.m. Saturday.
“Now we know what our competition is like, and we’ve got to be prepared for Enterprise or Imbler,” coach Mosley said. “We’ll play the winner of the second- versus third-seed game.”
At the start of the season, the Prospectors lost their sole senior player, starter Heather Mosley, to an injury.
Heather has been inspiring the team from the sidelines, but was unable to attend Saturday’s game. The team called her from the locker room after the game with the good news.
“They have a great opportunity,” Heather said. “Going in with a bye now, they can watch the teams on Friday and play Saturday, and I think they should go far.”
Prospectors Jozie Rude and Kaylee Wright commented on Saturday’s game.
“We could have played better defense and ran our offense,” Rude said.
The win, she said, was “crazy — it was awesome.”
“It was a really intense game,” Wright said. “Playing either team is going to be difficult, so we just have got to be ready for it.”
Kaylee Wright led in scoring for Grant Union with 13 points, followed by Mariah Moulton with nine.
Grant Union would have tied for first in the league if the Imbler Panthers had won both their Friday and Saturday games, but Imbler lost 38-27 to Enterprise on Friday and followed up with a 57-31 win in Elgin on Saturday.
Behind Grant Union, Imbler is seeded second for the district tournament, with Enterprise third, Union fourth and Elgin fifth.
Grant Union had a win and a loss in close games to Imbler in the regular season, and beat Enterprise twice.
Imbler defeated Enterprise once earlier this season, 44-34.
In a nonleague game Feb. 8, the Grant Union girls lost a 39-37 battle to the Crane Mustangs.
Crane had a fast start and led 17-10 at the half.
Grant Union came out energized in the third with Hailie Wright contributing a two-point shot and going 4-4 at the free-throw line. McKrola, Moulton and Rude scored two each for the Prospectors.
Grant Union outshot Crane by three in the fourth quarter but, down by two in the final minute of play, couldn’t overcome the deficit.
Grant Union vs. Enterprise
Kaylee Wright: 13 points
Mariah Moulton: 9
Madi McKrola: 5
Hailie Wright: 3
Trinity Hutchison: 2
Whitney McClellan: 1
Jozie Rude: 1
Grant Union vs. Crane
Hailie Wright: 15 points
Kaylee Wright: 5