The last time Pendleton took on Crook County, they made off with a 46-point advantage. On Thursday, they knocked down another easy victory.

The No. 2 Buckaroos cruised to a 64-33 Intermountain Conference home win over the No. 5-ranked Cowgirls.

“Crook County fights hard,” said junior point guard Carissa Cooley. “They don’t just hand over the win. At this point in the season, that’s good for us.”

The Bucks made easy work of the first half, with freshman Muriel Hoisington helping the Bucks out to a six-point lead to start. Hoisington then picked up an assist when senior Katie Bradt scored to give the Cowgirls an 8-0 lead. Pendleton ended the quarter up 17-2.

Crook County’s only points for the quarter came from freshman Josie Kasberger at the free-throw line.

“I told them yesterday at practice, ‘You’re going to be as focused and ready to go as you’ve been at any game all year,’” said coach Kevin Porter. “We can’t afford let-downs. We needed to go out there and handle business, and we did.”

Hoisington helped the Bucks out to a 20-point lead midway through the second quarter, and a trey from senior Elli Nirschl gave them a 36-10 lead at the half.

The second half got off to a sluggish start, with both teams enduring a 2 1/2 minute scoring drought. A bucket from Cooley at 2:07 gave Pendleton a 42-14 lead, but Cowgirls sophomore Dallas Hutchins hit one of her own with 0:50 to go to tie the quarter at 6-6.

With the game claimed early on, Porter sent in his bench to take care of the second half. Every Buckaroo that played on Friday put points on the board.

“I was really happy with everyone tonight,” Porter said. “We had 13 kids in the game. And what coach wouldn’t be happy with having 13 of his players get time on the court? Tonight gave our younger kids some experience.”

The Bucks took a 31-point lead twice in the fourth quarter, and a 3-pointer from Chloe Taber pushed them out to a 33-point lead. Hutchins and Cowgirls sophomore Liz Barker scored two straight baskets to close the game, but Pendleton was far out of reach.

“Games like this help us,” Cooley said. “We’re cleaning things up to take on Redmond and win the league. Tonight helped us perfect the little things — that’s something you’re not able to do in those high-intensity games.”

Hoisington led the Bucks (8-11, 4-1 IMC) with 13 points, nine of which came from outside the 3-point line. Cooley added 10 points, five assists, and a 2 of 3 performance at the line.

Pendleton travels to Hood River Valley on Tuesday for more league action.

Boys hoops

The Bucks took control of the Cowboys early on to post a 68-43 IMC victory in Crook County on Friday.

“We came out hot in the first quarter,” said coach Zach Dong. “Our press looked really good.”

Senior guard Tyler Newsom knocked down 10 points from the field in the first quarter, and sophomore guard Dakota Sams sunk two from the outside to help the Bucks put the quarter away 25-6.

The Cowboys retaliated in the second to outscore the Bucks 24-8 to bring them within three points of the lead at halftime.

“Crook County made some good adjustments and started hitting shots,” Dong said of the Cowboy comeback. “At the half, we challenged the boys to come back out and put them away, and they did just that.”

Dong said that junior guard Kason Broncheau led the charge with his defensive press, and helped set the offensive tempo. The Bucks claimed the third quarter 24-5.

Newsom scored eight of the Bucks’ 11 points in the final eight minutes to seal the team’s fourth conference win.

“Tyler and (Tanner) Sweek were monsters on the board tonight,” Dong said.

Newsom posted 27 points to lead Pendleton (14-5, 4-1 IMC). Sams chipped in 16, and junior post Redmond O’Hanlon 10.

The Bucks are No. 2 in conference play, and will host Hood River Valley on Tuesday.

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