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Lava Bears maul Cowgirls, take over second place

Crook County gets off to a slow start and never gets going in loss
The Crook County High School girls basketball team never got things going on Tuesday against the Bend Lava Bears and dropped an important IMC game 58-33.
   "The shots weren't falling early on, and we had a tough time getting into rhythm all game long," said Head Coach Kurt Sloper. "You know it just wasn't our night. We couldn't get into a steady pace of play and had difficulty recovering after a rough start."
   Both teams started the game slowly, but Bend made a couple of shots near the end of the first quarter to take a 7-1 lead. By halftime they had built their lead to 24-9, and they continued to extend their lead throughout the game.
   "I thought Brittaney Niebergall was extremely tough on defense for them," said Sloper. "She did a good job of stopping our penetration, and she knocked down some big shots for them as well."
   Niebergall, a 5-foot-1 freshman point guard, had a monster night leading all scorers with 14 points while adding eight rebounds and five steals. Erica Cardwell and Brittany Bruening were also in double figures for the Lava Bears with 13 and 12 points respectively, while Crook County was led by Danni Severance with seven points.
   "We had a difficult time forcing turnovers," Sloper said. "We put a lot of emphasis on the turnovers and rebounding and when we don't get those things it's hard to generate the opportunities that we need."
   The win puts Bend alone in second place in the IMC with a 5-2 league mark while Crook County falls into a tie for third place with Pendleton at 4-2. Hermiston is leading the IMC with a perfect 6-0 league mark.
   Not only did Crook County lose the game, season leading scorer Jessica Lea went down with a strained ligament in her wrist in the third quarter and did not return. She is currently listed as day to day.
   Crook County has two important home games this weekend, facing Pendleton at 7 p.m. Friday, and then playing Hermiston at 2:45 p.m. Saturday.
   Crook County (33) - Danni Severance 7, Verity 5, Herrera 5, Fulton 4, K. Wilcox 4, Cary 3, Lea 3, Stafford 2, Crofcheck, Buswell, , J. Wilcox. totals 11 8-11 33.
   Bend (58) - Brittaney Niebergall 14, Cardwell 13, Bruening 12, Schatz 7, Taylor 4, Danforth 4, Boise 2, Friesen 2, Gould, Greenleaf. Totals 21 15-27 58.
   Crook County 1 8 13 11 - 33
   Bend 7 17 18 16 - 58
   Three-point goals - Crook County: Verity 1, Cary 1, Lea 1. Bend: Niebergall 1.