The last time Hermiston played La Grande, Kaden Green Chandler dropped 20 points on the Bulldogs.
Tuesday night, Adrian Mendez helped hold Green Chandler to four points as Hermiston cruised to a 67-47 nonleague win at the Dawg House.
Ryne Andreason led the way for the Bulldogs with 18 points, and Cesar Ortiz added 11 rebounds and seven points, but there was one stat that was not pretty — the Bulldogs shot 25 of 46 (54 percent) from the free-throw line.
“We are usually a pretty good free throw team,” Hermiston coach Casey Arstein said. ”Kind of killed the momentum. Cesar and Ryno (Andreason) didn’t shoot the ball well, but I saw some good things.”
Namely the second quarter.
Leading 12-9, the Bulldogs went on a 27-8 tear in the second, getting 10 points from Andreason and five from Ortiz. The Bulldogs could have blown the game wide open if not for their 9 of 20 performance from the charity stripe.
Trailing 39-17 at the half, the Tigers made a little noise of their own in the third quarter with 15 points, and outscored the Bulldogs 15-11 in the fourth. But the deficit was far too big to overcome for La Grande, which had three players foul out.
All but two of the Bulldogs scored, with Jordan Ramirez adding 10 points, Blake Davis and Sergio Madrigal seven each, and Andrew James six.
“It was nice to get everyone in,” Arstein said. “In the MCC, we will get a lot of competition and we may only get to play seven guys. This was a good win going into Kennewick on Saturday.”
Ortiz, who scored all of his points in the first half, knows he had an off night, but he also knows what he needs to do to get better.
“I need to work on my conditioning and keep my guy in front of me,” he said. “My shooting will come. It takes a while to get into a rhythm.”
Hermiston is off to a 2-0 start heading into conference play.
“It’s been fun,” Ortiz said. “We have been playing together since the first grade. We have something pretty special here.”
Justin Jenner led the Tigers with 12 points, while Cristian Mendoza had seven. La Grande also suffered from the free-throw line, hitting just 43 percent (10 of 23).
La Grande 9 8 15 15 - 47
Hermiston 12 27 17 11 - 67
LA GRANDE: Myer 3, Jenner 12, Bell 5, Tsiatsos 4, Wiggins 4, Mendoza 7, DuVernay 3, Youngblood 5, Green Chandler 4.
HERMISTON: Andreason 18, Ortiz 7, Thacker 1, James 6, Smith 3, Davis 7, Madrigal 7, Ramirez 10, Mendez 8.