North Douglas Uses A Strong Start And Strong Finish To Hold Off Echo 54-37, Advance To The 1A Semifinals

Baker City — The North Douglas Warriors have been known for their suffocating defense this season; it has destroyed opponents like a boa constrictor does to its prey. On Thursday night, this was the trend once again as the Warriors took on the Echo Cougars in the 1A quarterfinals at Baker High School, with their defense being the shining point as they head to the 1A semifinals on Friday against Damascus Christian.

It took a while, actually almost four minutes before we had our first score. North Douglas finally broke through with a bucket from Brooke McHaffie to open the scoring 2-0. McHaffie hit another jumper and Brooklyn Williams added one to make it 6-0, Samantha MacDowell went on a 4-0 run that made it 10-0 Warriors, and North Douglas closed a shutout first quarter with a layup from Savannah Harkins to lead 12-0 after one quarter against Echo. North Douglas would take a 15-0 lead before Echo finally got on the board with a Mayela DelaFuente trey, making it 15-3 early in the second quarter. Sydney Bracher added a bucket for the Cougars to make it 15-5, but Harkins and McHaffie got a pair of scores to make it a 19-5 North Douglas lead in the second.

Down the stretch of the first half, the teams would trade punches and buckets, with Echo eventually getting the lead down to 30-17 at the half after trailing 15-0 in the second quarter. The third quarter would be more opportunity for Echo to close the gap with North Douglas, as a trey by Faith McCarty and bucket by Bracher cut the deficit to 32-22 in the first minute of the second half. After defense took over to force a scoreless few minutes, Neveah Thew dropped a bucket that cut it to 32-24 North Douglas with 3:42 left in the third. Asia Ward would hit a free throw to make it 33-24, but Echo would only trail by seven entering the fourth with McCarty hitting a bucket near the end of the quarter, giving the game a 33-26 score after three quarters.

The Cougars got within five points at the start of the fourth from a Mayela DelaFuente jumper, but North Douglas struck back in a forceful way with a 12-0 run led by Brooklyn Williams five points and four points from Savannah Harkins, giving the Warriors a 45-28 lead with 3:46 left in the game. Sydney Bracher finally ended the run for Echo to make it 45-30, but another 4-0 run for the Warriors extended their lead to 19 against Echo. McCarty and Bracher made valiant efforts down the stretch of the game for the Cougars, but North Douglas would ultimately breakaway 54-37 to advance to Friday’s 1A semifinals against Damascus Christian. Echo will play in the 1A consolation against Trout Lake. Faith McCarty led all scorers with 18 points for Echo and Sydney Bracher added 12 for the Cougars, but the five-way balanced stat line for North Douglas proved to win the day: Savannah Harkins, Brooke McHaffie, and Cydni Dill all had ten points, Brooklyn Williams had nine, and Samantha MacDowell finished with eight for the Warriors.

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