By John L. Braese
After claiming the 1A-8 High Desert League title, the Adrian girls basketball team picked up the bye and sat through round one of the state basketball playoffs.
The Antelopes showed no rust from those few days off when they opened their playoff season, rolling over the Perrydale Pirates, 56-23, in Adrian last Friday, Feb. 26.
After taking the opening tip, Adrian’s Anna Hutchings was fouled on the first shot of the game. Converting both free throws, Hutchings put the Lopes up 2-0 with only 15 seconds gone from the clock.
With just over one minute played, the Pirates tied up the score and came as close as they would come to the Antelopes off of a basket by Sarah Clark. Adrian then went on a 10-2 run and, as the first quarter came to a close, led 19-6.
The second quarter was all Adrian as the Lopes added 13 points. The Antelope defense held the Pirates to only two points and at the half, Adrian commanded a comfortable 32-8 margin.
Shuttling players in and out throughout the second half, the Lopes had scoring from 10 players. Perrydale continued to struggle on offense, putting up seven points in the third quarter and eight in the final quarter.
In the win, Adrian saw Morgan Bayes lead in the scoring with 13 points. Both Hutchings and Sundee Speelmon added 11 points.
“We knew coming in they were going to play zone,” said Hutchings. “I thought we came in focused on the game and had good passing to the open player for easy scores.”
“I thought we handled their pressure well and our pressure really bothered them,” said Adrian junior Selina Villarreal. “We made our free throws tonight, but still had a few turnovers we need to fix.”
“As a team, all the kids had a good night,” said Adrian head coach Gene Mills. “We know we have a tough game coming and are preparing for that right away.”
With the victory, Adrian advances to the final eight teams with games to be played in Baker.
On Wednesday, March 2, the Lopes face the Golden Eagles of Nixyaawii Community School. Watch for results of the game on the Malheur Enterprise Facebook page.
Nixyaawii enters the final eight after a 72-34 victory of Siletz Valley Early College on Feb. 26. The Golden Eagles sport a 24-2 overall record and ended the year as the league champions from the 1A-7 Old Oregon League. Nixyaawii is currently ranked fifth in the state with the Antelopes holding down the sixth place ranking.
Nixyaawii’s last loss came back on Jan. 30 in a 46-43 game versus Powder Valley. The Golden Eagles are led by sophomore standout Mary Stewart, who finished the game with Siletz Valley with 28 points, including five 3-pointers.
The quarterfinal game between the Golden Eagles and Antelopes will start at 3:15 p.m., Pacific time.
Perrydale 6 2 7 8 23
Adrian 19 13 11 13 56
Perrydale 6 3 2-5 23. Adrian 18 1 17-24 56: Bayes 6 0 1-1 13; Hutchings 2 0 5-6 9; Speelmon 3 0 3-4 9; Morton 1 1 2-2 7; McLay 3 0 0-0 6; Villareal 0 0 4-4 4; Nielson 0 0 2-2 2; Young 1 0 0-1 2; Skerjanec 1 0 0-2 2; Martinez 1 0 0-2 2.