PENDLETON — It took one player to bury Pendleton early and knock them from the top of the Intermountain Conference.
The Dalles senior Kilee Hoylman scored 10 of her team’s 12 points in the first quarter and scored a game-high 18 points to aid the Riverhawks in a 37-32 league victory over Pendleton at Warberg Court on Friday night. The Riverhawks withstood a fourth-quarter rally to replace Pendleton at the top of the conference standings and drop the Bucks to No. 3.
Pendleton shot a combined 10-for-46 on the night in their season’s first league loss.
“Our shots weren’t falling for the entire game,” Pendleton head coach Kevin Porter said. “I talked to the girls and told them that they have to be prepared every time you step onto the floor. We weren’t tonight, and that cost us.”
Hoylman kept Pendleton down early with two at the line and a 3-pointer in the opening four minutes of the first quarter. Senior Lauryn Belanger followed with a basket to stay ahead 7-0 with 2:33 left.
Pendleton sophomore Muriel Hoisington got Pendleton on the board with a trey with 58 seconds to go, but Holyman returned to post five more points and keep things out of Pendleton’s reach.
Bucks junior Natalie Neveau and sophomore Chloe Taber were the only Pendleton players to find the net in quarter two, as the Riverhawks capped the half off with a 10-point run — five of which came from senior Rainey Codding. Pendleton trailed 25-6 at the half.
“We started out too slow,” Hoisington said. “We just needed to hit our shots in the first half. They just weren’t falling. We needed to pick it up.”
Hoisington broke Pendleton into double digits with two at the line with 1:10 remaining in the third quarter. The Dalles would take two 20-point leads at 30-10 and 33-13.
The Bucks opened quarter four with 15 unanswered points, including treys from Hoisington and Taber, for a 33-28 game. The Riverhawks were held scoreless for nearly the entire quarter until Hoylman managed a free throw with 1:30 left to play.
Pendleton sophomore Daisy Jenness scored a basket at 1:15 for their smallest deficit of the night at 34-30, but the Riverhawks kept it together down the stretch, posting three more points in the final minute to keep the game just out of reach.
“We dug ourselves too big of a hole,” Porter said. “Our girls played hard in the second half. Credit to The Dalles — they made their shots in the first half. They were just better than us tonight.”
Hoisington led Pendleton (10-5, 2-1 IMC) with 11 points. Taber and Jenness each followed with eight. Jenness also grabbed a team-high nine rebounds. Senior Sami Spriet had seven.
“They’re a beatable team,” Hoisington said of The Dalles. “They have some strong shooters. We’ll get them next time.”
The Bucks stay at home to host Redmond on Tuesday at 6:30 p.m.