HERMISTON - After a weekend of mixed performances, the Hermiston Bulldogs took the court Tuesday and got off to the first quarter they'd been looking for.
Launched by seniors Sarau Morrison and Jordan Crossley, Hermiston (8-8, 4-1 Intermountain Conference) outscored The Dalles-Wahtonka 17-4 in the first frame and set the game on cruise from there to earn a 57-42 victory.
Morrison put in seven first-quarter points, while Crossley scored five on her way to a game-high 14.
"One thing we talked about before the game was getting a good start," coach Mike Royer said. "Sarau got us going with the points, but our defense had a good start, too."
The Eagle-Indians (5-8, 1-3 IMC) scored just seven points through the first 12 minutes of the game, but went on a quick spree to round out the half and pull to within 15 at halftime.
"They're a team that can score a lot of points in a hurry, so I wasn't comfortable at a 15-point lead," Royer said about The Dalles-Wahtonka. "But we kept the lead, and it's nice not to be stressed out in the fourth quarter."
The Eagle-Indians never got within 10 points of the Bulldogs, and by the final minutes of the fourth quarter, both benches had seen time on the court.
"We're a deep team, but the girls don't always get playing time," Royer explained. "They played well, and it's nice to get them as much experience as we can."
The Hermiston bench combined for 18 points, led by Paige Davis' eight.
For Crossley, the game was a step in the right direction after a lackluster weekend where she scored just 15 points in two games. The weekend before, she put in back-to-back 14-plus point games to help Hermiston win their IMC openers on the road.
"Jordan's somebody who we need to score double-digits every night, and she's capable of doing it," Royer said. "Tonight Jordan and Sarau did exactly what we needed them to."
The win temporarily gives Hermiston first place in the IMC outright, but Bend (9-4, 3-1) will have a chance to tie the lead tonight with a win over Summit.
TD-WAHTONKA (8-8) 4 12 15 11 - 42
HERMISTON (5-8) 17 14 16 10 - 57
THE DALLES-WAHTONKA - Emily Irby 9, Sara Claar 8, Chelsea Gay 7, Lindy Garrett 7, Angelica Boyden 4, Lori Jones 3, Nadia Telles 2, Vanessa Clemensen 2, Laura North, Caitlin McCleary, Sarah Anthony, Desirae Niko.
HERMISTON - Jordan Crossley 14, Shoni Schimmel 11, Sarau Morrison 8, Paige Davis 8, Abbey Royer 5, Charly Gill 4, Hailey Davis 4, Sarah VonArx 2, Michelle Coombs 1, Kaitlyn Cody, Jessica Rowan, Sarah Newman.
3-point field goals - The Dalles-Wahtonka 2, Hermiston 6. Free throws - The Dalles-Wahtonka 8-12, Hermiston 5-9. Fouls - The Dalles-Wahtonka 11, Hermiston 15.