HERMISTON - Hermiston got exactly what it wanted Saturday with a blowout victory over its cross-county rival in an Intermountain Conference boys basketball matchup.
Pendleton had no answers for IMC-leading scorer Paul Carollo, and Hermiston had all the right answers in a 79-51 victory, extending its IMC win streak to eight games.
"We're really excited," Carollo said. "We came out with a lot of intensity and did a good job rebounding."
Carollo saw limited action - just 13:54 to be exact - but scored a game-high 24 points to go with eight rebounds.
"Paul Carollo was terrific and looked like the best player in the conference," Pendleton coach Jeff Quinn said. "They came out and stuck it to us and beat us in every aspect of the game."
Hermiston (8-2 IMC, 14-4) gave the Buckaroos' (4-6, 8-10) playoff opportunities a blow with the win are in second place behind Mountain View (8-1, 14-2).
"I'm really surprised at the score to the game, but in a rivalry game, emotions can take over and the score can get away in a hurry," Hermiston coach Larry Usher said. "I mean by no means was that Pendleton's best game, but our kids executed very well."
Hermiston had two key runs that set up the blowout. The Bulldogs opened the game on a 13-2 run behind Carollo, who scored nine in the run, and Hermiston broke the Buckaroos' back in the third quarter, outscoring Pendleton 22-4 for a 65-35 lead heading into the fourth.
"They came out with big runs in the first and the third, and that hurt us," said Pendleton guard Brad Winter, who scored five points. "Those runs hurt us bad, but we need to learn how to bounce back from that."
In a game that had 27 personal fouls called in the first half, Carollo was whistled for three and was pulled from the game, but not before the damage was done.
Prior to his first trip to the bench, Carollo scored 11 points in the first 5:08 of the game before picking up his second foul. He checked in to start the second, adding five more points before sitting the bench the rest of the second after the 6:14 mark.
"What can you say?" Usher asked of Carollo's performance. "He played great and got some shots to go down that really got us going offensively."
Hermiston's 22-4 third-quarter run was sparked by a 3-pointer by Ricardo Amezcua at the 5:50 mark and capped by Ryan Bell's three-point play.
"That was huge because they were double teaming Paul, but that shot opened things up for him," Usher said of Amezcua's 3-pointer.
Carollo followed Amezcua's shot with eight points before checking out of the game for good with just over one minute left in the third quarter.
"Paul played awesome and hit some great shots," Amezcua said. "We got after it defensively and hit the glass."
Hermiston's Juan Rodriguez had 12 points in the game - six of which came at the free throw line in the second quarter - and pulled in eight rebounds.
"It felt great to come out and play our best against our rival," Rodriguez said. "I thought the big difference was our defense."
With Carollo on the bench in the second quarter, Pendleton pulled within eight points at 34-26 with 2:32 left in the first half, but Nathan Wicks hit an NBA range 3-pointer at the halftime buzzer for a 43-31 Hermiston advantage.
"We were a little nervous in the second quarter with Paul on the bench, but I think it's great that the kids did not have to rely on Paul to hold the lead," Usher said.
Hermiston outrebounded Pendleton 39-28.
"They hit the boards and we didn't," Quinn said. "That was a big difference in the game."
Cameron Federline scored six of is eight points in the second quarter, and Shae Schimmel led the Buckaroos with 12 points off the bench.