Hermiston got out to an early lead once again, but this time the Bulldogs were able to hold on for their first victory of the season.
Jazlyn Romero had 14 points, and Jayden Ray added 13 as Hermiston picked up a 47-35 nonleague victory Tuesday over La Grande at the Dawg House.
Though it was nice to get the win, Hermiston coach Juan Rodriguez was not pleased with how his team played.
“It’s one of those things where I feel like it is a loss,” he said. “Winning it like that doesn’t feel right. We are taking shots we don’t practice, ad-libbing and not running our offense.”
The Bulldogs (1-1) also had 21 turnovers, which Rodriguez had mixed feelings about.
“We want to play up tempo, but not out of control,” he said. “There is a fine line and we crossed it to out of control.”
Hermiston opened the game with a 3-pointer by Romero, and the Tigers kept it close most of the quarter, pulling within 12-9 with 1:15 remaining in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs would scored the last seven points of the quarter — including a 3-point play by Paige Palzinski — to take a 19-9 lead.
La Grande (0-1) outscored Hermiston 7-6 in the second quarter, but still trailed 25-16 at the half. The Bulldogs had a 3 1/2-minute scoring drought in the second, which ended with Ray scoring with 1:35 to play in the first half.
The Tigers refused to go away to start the third as Camryn Collman scored back-to-back baskets to pull her team within 25-20 with 5:59 left in the third.
La Grande would not score another point the rest of the quarter, while the Bulldogs scored 10 unanswered points, including a 3-point play by Romero, and buckets by Mati Byrd and Ray the final 35 seconds of the quarter.
Ella Dunlap scored all seven of her points in the fourth quarter for the Tigers. But they could not catch the Bulldogs, who got four points each from Romero, Byrd and Ray in the fourth to help seal the win.
Collman led the Tigers with 14 points.
The Bulldogs will open Mid-Columbia Conference play Saturday at Kennewick. Rodriguez said there is much work to do before then.
“We have to get a lot better in three days,” he said. “I feel if we play like this, we have no chance of winning.”
LA GRANDE 9 7 4 15 - 35
HERMISTON 19 6 10 12 - 47
LA GRANDE: Howton 2, Collman 14, Gomes 3, Chamberlain 2, Williams 7, Dunlap 7.
HERMISTON: Young 4, Erya 13, Byrd 6, Stafani 2, Palzinski 8, Romero 14.