HERMISTON - It's officially a roll.
The Bulldogs hit Crook County (6-10, 2-6 IMC) early Saturday with their sharp shooting, pressure defense formula and walked away with a 77-42 victory, their fifth straight.
Each of the past four games have been won by at least 15 points, and for all intents and purposes Hermiston (11-8, 7-1 IMC) has been unstoppable.
"The past two weeks we've been gaining confidence and getting better with each game," coach Mike Royer said. "We've been consistent with our offense, and our defense has been creating opportunities to score."
With a comfortable 45-18 halftime lead in Saturday's game, the Bulldog bench spent plenty of time on the floor and produced some major results.
Jessica Rowan scored a season high 12 points coming in to replace Paige Davis who found foul trouble early, and every player on the team scored at least a basket except final entry Sarah Newman. The bench was responsible for 31 of the team's points.
"Everyone's doing something to help us win," Royer explained. "We were a little concerned coming into the weekend without Sarah VonArx. But we had plenty of help to make up for that."
Jordan Crossley found her shooting touch, finishing with a season-best tying 18 points to lead the team. Shoni Schimmel scored 15 with eight assists and five steals.
Crook County coach Kurt Sloper said the first half strategy he brought the team in with didn't pay off the way he expected.
"We wanted to force them to beat us from the outside, and that's what they did," he said, citing Schimmel's 3-of-4 3-point shooting in the first quarter. "When she hit those from deep, it was time to change the game plan."
The second quarter didn't go any better for the Cowgirls, who slipped behind even further as they were outscored 19-5.
Sloper said the second half saw his girls playing better, but it was too late in the game to make a difference.
"We did better last time we played them at our place," he said. "It didn't feel like a huge loss like it did tonight."
The Bulldogs will play four of their remaining six games on the road, beginning with Tuesday's game against second place Pendleton. With the end in sight, they feel they're on the right track.
"I think it's pretty obvious we've improved each game," Crossley said. "We're more confident and it shows."
"Before the game we talked about feeling good about the win (Friday), but we have to raise the bar every game," Royer added. "The goal is to be playing well in the playoffs."
CROOK COUNTY (6-10) 13 5 10 14 - 42
HERMISTON (11-8) 26 19 15 17 - 77
CROOK COUNTY - Samantha Herrera 12, Jessica Lea 9, Lanee Danforth 8, TaNeshia Fulton 6, Kady Stafford 4, Kaitlyn Duncan 2, Sami Verity 1, Jamie Cary, Rachel Kelso, Necole Ontko.
HERMISTON - Jordan Crossley 18, Shoni Schimmel 15, Jessica Rowan 12, Sarau Morrison 6, Charly Gill 6, Michelle Coombs 5, Abbey Royer 5, Paige Davis 5, Katlin Cody 3, Hailey Davis 2, Sarah Newman.
3-point field goals - Crook County 1-1, Hermiston 4-11. Free throws - Crook County 7-16, Hermiston 15-28. Fouls - Crook County 20, Hermiston 19.