WELLS – The second meeting between the Wells and McDermitt girls basketball teams was a much better battle than the first, but the contest ended with the same result – the Lady Bulldogs up, the Lady Leopards down.
After suffering a 56-37 blowout loss on Jan. 5 in McDermitt in the Division 1A Northern-East opener, Wells came to play Friday night.
The Lady Leopards just couldn’t finish.
Wells closed with the same amount of points as the first matchup, but only two came down the stretch – senior Keegan Laughlin notching a deuce for the only points of the fourth quarter for the Lady Leopards.
McDermitt had a more difficult time scoring the ball, notching 11 points less than the first meeting, still managing to dig out a 45-37 W.
The game provided a defensive struggle from the jump, the Lady Bulldogs edging the Lady Leopards in the first period 7-6.
Action picked up in the second quarter, Wells claiming a three-point advantage by a score of 15-12 – seniors Samantha Stump and Amanda Murphy each scoring five points in the frame on a triple and a deuce.
Junior Precious Masters scored half of McDermitt’s points in the second period, dropping six in the frame.
At halftime, Wells led by two at 21-19.
The third period provided the most points of any frame in the contest, the teams combing for 32 points.
McDermitt found the edge late in the frame after Wells began the period with a strong run, the Lady Bulldogs posting 18 points in the third and the Lady Leopards closing with 14 in the frame.
Wells gained two 3s and eight points from freshman Cameron Powers in the third and another four points from Laughlin, but McDermitt came to life midway through the quarter.
The Lady Bulldogs earned some crucial threes from freshman Katie Crutcher and senior Adrie Smart.
Crutcher scored seven of McDermitt’s 18 in the third period, Smart adding four – combining for 11 in the frame.
Entering the fourth, the Lady Bulldogs clutched a two-point advantage of 37-35.
Neither team mounted offense of any kind in the first portion of the final frame; the only difference being that McDermitt finally scored some buckets – Wells never got going.
Crutcher continued her solid play and notched two field goals, the Lady Bulldogs gaining another couple deuces from Masters – the duo combining for all eight of McDermitt’s points in the final eight minutes.
Laughlin’s deuce served as the only offense for the Lady Leopards in the fourth, Wells falling with ice-cold shooting down the stretch.
McDermitt swept the season series by a final score of 45-37.
Despite being held well below her season average of 22 points, Masters led all scorers with 15 points.
Masters closed with a double-double, grabbing a team-high 11 rebounds, topping the roster with four assists, two blocks and adding four steals.
She was joined in double digits by Smart, who notched all 11 of her points in the second half.
Laughlin led the Lady Leopards with 12 points, followed by 11 from Powers – who drained three 3s.
Junior Shania Lenoir finished with eight points, eight rebounds and four steals for the Lady Bulldogs, Smart added six points and six boards and five points were chipped in by senior Morissa Bitt – who led McDermitt with 11 rebounds.
Sophomore Jasmine Northrup led the defensive pressure for McDermitt, collecting a team-high six steals.
Stumpf and Murphy closed with five points apiece for the Lady Leopards, but neither managed to score a point after the second quarter.
MCDERMITT 7 12 18 8 45 Total
WELLS 6 15 14 2 37 Total
“We did a pretty good job defensively on Precious. Limiting her to 15 points is about all you can expect, but they had some other girls knock down shots and they made them at big times,” said Wells coach Enoch Dahl. “We just couldn’t hit anything down the stretch. Our offense got stagnant and we didn’t move the ball around the floor like we should have. We have to learn how to not play tight when games are close. I thought we had done that pretty well this year up to that point.”
Wells dropped to 2-3 in league play and will take on the Lady Vandals (3-3) at 6 p.m. Friday in Eureka.
The Lady Leopards won a low-scoring, 44-35 contest in the first meeting on Jan. 12 in Wells.
McDermitt is the only undefeated team in the 1A Northern-East, improving to 5-0, and the Lady Bulldogs will officially extend to a 6-0 start with a forfeit by Carlin in a game scheduled for Friday.
The Lady Bulldogs’ next test will come against the defending state champions, hosting the Lady Braves of Owyhee (4-2 in league) at noon Saturday in McDermitt.
McDermitt went on the road and won the first meeting in convincing fashion on Jan. 13, toppling the Lady Braves 71-51 on their home floor.
The Lady Braves moved into second place in the league standings Saturday with a 60-56 victory over Eureka in Owyhee, avenging a 65-63 loss to the Lady Vandals on Jan. 6 in Eureka.