PENDLETON - In less than 24 hours, Redmond went from a team that upset the Intermountain Conference leaders to another club that stumbled at the home of the defending conference champions.
In one week, Pendleton has gone from riding a three-game losing streak to winning three in a row.
The changes for Pendleton have definitely been for the better in its run at a third straight IMC championship. The Buckaroos drew within one game of league-leading Hermiston Saturday with a 63-37 win over Redmond, just one day after the eighth-place Panthers pulled off a 49-46 overtime upset in Hermiston.
The upset caught the attention of the third-place Bucks (14-4, 8-3 IMC), who are in position to return to the state Class 4A tournament.
"We knew they'd do everything to carry that momentum (from Hermiston) over here," Pendleton coach Todd Zimmermann said of Redmond. "After watching their game at Hermiston, I saw they did a good job of playing team ball. We'd been too inconsistent about our effort, and we wanted to come out and have a good start. That's what we did."
The Bucks didn't have to overcome a slow start like they did in their previous home game Thursday night against The Dalles-Wahtonka, a 69-57 triumph. While Pendleton recovered loose balls and scored on second-chance baskets, Redmond (7-12, 4-7) went through two scoring spells, trailing 8-0 through the first 5 minutes of the game and going on a 7-minute scoring spell through most of the second period. Pendleton led 29-12 at halftime.
"We're a young team coming off a good emotional win, but we've got to play two nights in a row," Redmond coach Wes Owens said.
Both teams suffered a bad case of trips to the floor. The frequent trips - there weren't many possessions for either team without at least one fall - were results of tie-balls, battles for rebounds and dives for loose balls.
"Two good teams went at it," Pendleton guard Mackenzie Larson said. "Obviously, they wanted it."
But the falls didn't faze the Bucks.
"I thought (the physicality) was great," said Pendleton center Marissa Hammond, who led all scorers with 17 points. "I wish all games could be that way. It gets our team into the game."
When asked about the physicality, Owens said: "I know there were a lot of free throws."
There were - 30 for each team. The Panthers hit 17, one less than the Bucks. In a 7-minute span into the third period, Redmond hit 9 of 15 free throws without converting a field goal.
Pendleton made 10 of 16 with no field goals in the final 4:13 of the period.
Freshman post Bre Meulink led Redmond with 13 points. For Pendleton, forward Alexis Humphrey had 13 points and Larson chipped in 11.
REDMOND (7-12, 4-7) 5 7 13 12 - 37
PENDLETON (14-4, 8-3) 13 16 17 17 - 63
REDMOND - Hanf 7, Kelley 1, Skinner 2, Gibbs 2, Clark 8, Miller 4, Meulink 13, Lott, Hammond, Rodby
PENDLETON - Humphrey 13, Short 1, Vogler 9, Larson 11, Treloar 9, Peal 2, Hammond 17, Minthorn 1, Adams, Harrison, Scudder, Beamer, Shaw
3-point field goals - Redmond 2, Pendleton 5. Free throws - Redmond 17-30, Pendleton 18-30. Fouls - Redmond 20, Pendleton 22. Fouled out - Clark (Redmond); Peal, Minthorn (Pendleton). Technicals - None.