Crook County falls by 20 despite playing best game in six weeks

For the last half of the season the Crook County Cowgirl basketball team has been struggling, really struggling.

After starting the season with a 5-4 record, the team has stumbled to a 1-9 record in the Intermountain Hybrid Conference. Tuesday night was the Cowgirls’ sixth consecutive loss, but this time was different. Despite falling 64-44 to the Summit Storm, Crook County Head Coach Mark Malott was pleased with the fight he saw from his team.

To say you get beat by 20 and you get a little confidence boost is strange,” he said. “But I think that’s the best we’ve played in the last six weeks. We had great effort.”

The 10th-ranked Storm, 14-6 overall and 8-3 in the IMC, used long-range shooting to jump out to a 17-10 first quarter lead. The Storm continued their hot shooting in the second quarter as they extended their lead to 36-22 by the half.

The Storm connected on nine 3-pointers in the game, including six in the pivotal first half.

Sarah Heinly, scored 13 first half points for the Storm including three 3-point shots.

“We zoned them and we were really aggressive on the zone,” Malott said. “We were flying to them, but she was knocking them down.”

Heinly finished the game with 18 points on four 3-pointers to lead the Storm. Raja Char was nearly as hot for the Storm adding 16 points, including three 3-point goals. Char added seven assists for the Storm, while Sarah Reeves contributed 15 points and 10 rebounds.

Meanwhile, Kimmer Severance was the lone Cowgirl in double figures with 22 points and seven rebounds.

“Kimmer had a great game,” Malott said. “She’s been struggling a little, but tonight she shared the ball — took advantage of what they gave her and didn’t force it.”

Malott was also pleased with the performance of Michaeline Malott and Jena Ovens.

Malott finished with six points and five assists, while Ovens brought the ball up the court against the Storm full-court press and committed just two turnovers in the contest.

Despite falling by 20, the Cowgirls actually outscored the Storm from inside the 3-point line. The Cowgirls hit 16 2-point shots compared to just 13 for the Storm. However, Crook County was unable to keep pace with Summit from long range, hitting just one 3-pointer in the contest.

“It’s tough,”?Malott said. “We had just 10 turnovers the entire game against their pressure. We moved the ball around and had wide open looks; we just didn’t hit our shots. They were knocking down threes and we were missing 12-footers.”

Still, Malott was pleased with the overall performance from the team.

“Summit is a good team,” he said. They are well coached. They are disciplined. But like I told the girls after the game, I was really positive. I have no doubt that if we can play like that, taking Bend and Summit out of the equation, we can beat anyone else in the league.”

The Cowgirls (6-13) will have a chance to show they have improved on Friday when they travel to Bend again to take on the 5-14 Mountain View Cougars.

Then comes the most important game of the season as the Cowgirls go on the road again on Monday to take on the Ridgeview Ravens. The game, which was originally scheduled for last Friday, was rescheduled due to snow. Ridgeview (9-9) won the first meeting between the two teams so the Cowgirls need to take both of the remaining contests against the Ravens in order to keep their post-season hopes alive.

“Ridgeview is sitting pretty cocky right now,” Malott said. “It would be fun to knock them out and make that last game of the season mean something.”

The Cowgirls finally play at home again on Tuesday when they host the league-leading Bend Lava Bears. All three games are scheduled for 7 p.m.

Summit 64,

Crook County 44

at Summit

Crook County (44) — Kimmer Severance 22, Bannon 6, Malott 6, Ovens 6, Martin 2, Wood 2. Totals 17 9-16 44.

Summit (64) — Sarah Heinly 18, Char 16, Reeves 15, Gordon 5, Manley 4, Hasenoehrl 4, Cornett 2. Totals 22 11-14 64.

Crook County 10 12 9 13 — 44

Summit 17 19 17 11 — 64

Three-point goals — Crook County: Ovens; Summit: Heinly 4, Char 3, Reeves, Gordon.

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