LA GRANDE - Facing a much taller La Grande team, the Pendleton girls' basketball team found a way to cut the Tigers down to size with a dominant performance from their backcourt in a 72-36 nonconference win Thursday.

Leading the way for the Bucks was junior guard Sam McCloud, who filled out the stat sheet with 20 points, 10 rebounds, nine assists and seven steals.

Pendleton came out in a full press to try and counter a Tiger lineup that features four 5-foot-10 starters and it was a big reason they went in the locker room at halftime up 43-23 according to coach Ryan Sams.

"We put a lot of pressure on them because of their size advantage," he said. "We got a lot of easy steals, a lot of easy baskets."

When La Grande (0-1) was able to bring the ball down the court, the Bucks (2-0) forced them to choose their shots wisely and didn't allow many second opportunities as they owned the glass all night.

"We just killed them on the boards (Thursday)," Sams said. "It was crazy because we outrebounded them something like 41-17 and they are so much biggger than we are. The girls played way more aggressive than La Grande did."

Kristin Van Cleave added 10 rebounds to tie McCloud's team-high.

Another area of the Bucks' play that stood out Thursday was their ball handling, as they dropped their turnover total from near 40 Tuesday to 22 Thursday. The Bucks turned the ball over just eight times in the first half.

Sams praised the play of point guard Makayla McKay, who put up 11 points. With 11 more points from guard Jessica Simpson, the Bucks got 42 points out of their backcourt.

La Grande was led by Brittany Good's 17 points.

The Bucks host Mac-Hi tonight at 7 p.m.


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