Baker City — Every game has been a battle since they got to Baker on Thursday: Edging out Nixyawii to get to Friday’s semifinals where the Cougars fell short to the #1 ranked Crane Mustangs, finding themselves in Saturday’s 3rd place game with North Douglas, who fell to Damascus Christian 44-39 on Friday night. This one was another test for both teams, both of whom broke their backs trying to secure a dub, but it would be Country Christian taking the home the better hardware on Saturday afternoon in Baker City.
The scoring only took three seconds to open up, with Elizabeth Grandle starting the scoring for Country Christian in the opening seconds. North Douglas quickly responded with a 7-0 run fueled by Cydni Dill and Samantha MacDowell, taking a 7-2 lead with 5:40 left in the first. Grandle, Lilly Garfield, and Lilly Begley combined for an 8-0 Cougars response to retake the lead 10-7, eventually leading 12-11 with 2:58 remaining in the opening quarter. The Warriors would close stronger in the first, aided by a Brooklyn Cyr trey and MacDowell layup to lead 16-14 after one quarter. Annie Bafford’s two free throws tied things up early in the second quarter, but North Douglas grabbed control again with a 6-0 run from MacDowell, Lailah Ward, and Brooklyn Williams to lead 22-16 with 5:55 left in the half.
Country Christian hit back with their own run to take the lead, a 7-0 run from Grandle and Bafford to lead 23-22 on North Douglas with 4:53 left in the first half. The teams had a tug of war down the stretch of the first half, being tied all the way up to the final seconds until Asia Ward hit a trey at the buzzer to put North Douglas ahead 35-32 at the half against Country Christian. Annie Bafford and Elizabeth Grandle led Country Christian with 12 and 10 points at the half, Samantha MacDowell carried North Douglas with 14 points. Asia Ward picked up where she left off at the buzzer, getting a bucket to extend their lead to 37-32 in the opening seconds of the second half.
Less than 20 seconds after Ward opened the second half scoring, Grandle came back with a trey that made it 37-35, but MacDowell responded with one of her own to extend the lead back out to 40-35. Lilly Begley and Lilly Garfield came back with a pair of buckets to close within 40-39 with 3:39 left in the third. North Douglas couldn’t get away in the closing minutes of the third, but Country Christian failed to take the lead, giving it a 46-44 North Douglas lead after three quarters. The Cougars came out with vengeance, seizing on a 6-0 run to take the lead 50-48 over North Douglas with 5:36 left in the game. After North Douglas tied it again, Country Christian went on an 8-0 run that milked over three minutes of game time, taking control 58-50 with 2:02 left in the game. The Cougars would end up holding on 60-53 to defeat North Douglas, taking 3rd place in the 1A tournament.
Annie Bafford and Elizabeth Grandle finished with 19 and 16 points for Country Christian, Samantha MacDowell led all scorers with 21 points for North Douglas. Country Christian finishes the season 25-7 and 3rd place in 1A, North Douglas closes 26-5 and 5th place in 1A.