PENDLETON — After the Pendleton Bucks took a one-point lead on a Lainey Corbett basket at the two-minute mark of the fourth quarter, the Pendleton offense fell silent. For the remaining 120 seconds, the girls’ basketball team scored no points — but was not without good opportunity.
The Bucks missed a pair of under-the-basket open shots and two more free throws in the final 30 seconds of a 40-36 loss to the Southridge Suns (WA) on Tuesday. All four misses came while trailing by only two points.
Some of that has to do with the caliber of opponents, coach Aaron Schmidt said. Some of it, though, is on himself and the girls as they work on a few new offensive looks.
We just put in a few quick things,” Schmidt said of the early season tweaks. “We want to push the ball and go fast and we’re not doing that right now. We took a little step back.”
Unfortunately for the Bucks, the quick things haven’t caught on so quick.
“It was a little bit shaky, some people not remembering where to go but we’re just trying to play basketball out there,” said Jessika McDonald, who along with Corbett led Pendleton with 10 points.
But almost all of McDonald’s scoring came before the intermission as the second half was dry for many Bucks. No player outside of Charmayne Robinson had scored in the fourth quarter before Corbett’s late basket. Robinson finished with eight points.
But even with the slow scoring Bucks coming up the court at them, the Suns (3-2) weren’t running away with the game. Southridge used an 8-of-10 stretch of free throw shooting to close out the win, but kept Pendleton close with turnovers.
“We can’t work that hard on defense in our press only to throw the ball away and not finish shots,” Suns coach Scott Stiles said.
Mercedes Haberling was the Suns’ leading scorer with nine points as Southridge outscored Pendleton 13-7 in the final quarter. The Bucks had led 29-27 going into the fourth.
Contact AJ Mazzolini at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 966-0839.