HERMISTON — It must have seemed like a nightmare for the Eisenhower Cadets Saturday night in Hermiston. Bulldog defenders haunted every Cadet possession, lashing out and stealing the basketball before putting it in the net. When Eisenhower finally woke up, the non-conference contest was over and the Lady Dawgs were on top 85-21.
Hermiston (1-1) launched out front early — finishing the first quarter up 28-3 while causing 13 Cadet turnovers — and coasted the rest of the way for their first victory of the season.
“We executed our game plan,” said senior Maloree Moss in a colossal understatement. “We wanted to pressure, get up early and work on our full-court man (defense).”
The team’s attempt was to keep the game from getting ugly. It can be a difficult line to walk, Moss said.
“We want to be known as a classy team as well as an intense team,” said Moss, who finished with 11 points and enough swarming energy for a scourge of mosquitos. “When we get what we want done, we’re going to work on other aspects of our game, which in this case was our half-court defense.”
In all, Eisenhower (0-2) turned the ball over 38 times before the merciful, final whistle.
Saturday’s game was a huge change of pace for the Bulldogs over their loss the night before to Clackamas. That game played on the girls’ emotions because of its physicality, coach Hoffert said, and some of that frustration spilled over against the Cadets.
“Our goal was to bring that intensity from (Friday) into this game,” Hoffert said. “That game is the style we want to play, the level we want to be at...(Saturday) we wanted to make sure we could come out and not go soft and feel the game out.
“We wanted to get the quick jump on them, shove it down their throats early and just keep going.”
By the time the lead was up to 40 points early in the third quarter, Hoffert started a full rotation of his deep bench players. Eleven of the 12 suited players scored for Hermiston as the Bulldogs flexed their depth. Heidi Walchli finished with a game-high 18 points.
“It gave us all the opportunity to practice running our plays, like slowing it down and running sets,” said senior guard Cheyanne Lawson, who scored 16 points off the bench, including a 4-of-5 shooting night from 3-point range.
Eisenhower guard Devin Guerra-Burnett led the Cadets in scoring, netting eight points.