PENDLETON — The Hermiston Bulldog girls wrapped up their series with Pendleton on the basketball court by ousting the Bucks 59-36 on Friday night to complete the four-game sweep.
The Dawgs (18-5, 11-0 CRC), champions of the Columbia River Conference, have just one more game left in the regular season but they’ve longed for the playoffs for some time, junior Heidi Walchli said. The girls don’t want to look past that last opponent — Hood River Valley on the road — but the date on the calander is definitely circled for postseason play.
“Especially with killing all these teams, we’re ready to have some competition,” said Walchli of the Bulldogs 11-0 run in conference play. “We know we’re going to have to work hard (in the playoffs) and I know everybody’s ready for that."
The quick streak at the start of Friday’s game was the Bucks feeding off their home crowd in their final game on Warberg Court this season.
“The start of the game is always the most intense because you come out and the crowd is yelling,” Pendleton senior Jory Spencer said. “You think, ‘Oh my God, this is our last chance.’ You have the adrenaline.”
Spencer scored eight points, second on her team to Courtney Schumacher-Sweek’s 11, but far off the lead of Hermiston’s top point producers. The usual game-high scorer Maloree Moss was held to six points, but Walchli, Jeni Hoffert and Flyg all topped the 10 point mark. Walchli led all players with 16 points.
One of the reasons the Bulldogs — ranked third in the state in RPI — have had so much success this year is because of their full basketball arsenal they can rely on, coach Steve Hoffert said. Even when one star is bottled up, the team can still shine.
“With five girls playing on the floor as one, we’re really hard to beat because we have so many scorers,” Hoffert said. “You pick your poison to who you want to stop or guard.”