HERMISTON - Charlene Shirley dominated the Bend Lava Bears with a game-high 24 points, snapping Hermiston's two-game Intermountain Conference girls basketball losing streak Friday.
The Bulldogs (17-4, 8-3 IMC) used an inside attack for an overwhelming 64-37 victory over Bend (7-15, 4-8 IMC) and will host the No. 1 team in the IMC, Redmond, at 2:45 p.m. today.
"I think it was a good game for us and hopefully it will get us going," Hermiston head coach Mike Royer said. "I thought we played well tonight and Charlene had a great game."
Hermiston's five seniors, Brittany White, Anna Frutchey, Aundrea Morrison, Amanda Carper and Shirley were honored prior to the game and White responded, scoring seven of her nine points in the first quarter.
The Bulldogs went on an 11-0 run, sparked by White, but Bend's Kari Cox scored eight points in the first quarter to keep the Lava Bears close 12-10.
"Brittany got us going in the first quarter and she is playing on a bad knee," Royer said. "It's a sore knee, but she'll be ready for (today)."
Frutchey drilled a 3-pointer to start the second quarter and went on to score seven in the quarter, opening up a 22-16 Bulldog lead. Bend tried to stay close, but Shirley closed the decisive second quarter with seven straight points as Hermiston outscored Bend 21-7 in the quarter for a 33-17 halftime lead.
"We moved the ball pretty well," Royer said. "I think we shot the ball well tonight and we had some good opportunities from the outside."
The Bulldogs directed their offense toward Shirley to start the third quarter and she responded, scoring nine points as Hermiston expanded its lead to 50-27 heading into the fourth quarter.
"As a team we did awesome and we went inside, but if it wasn't there we hit shots from the outside," Shirley said. "Brittany scored first, then Anna and Aundrea (Morrison) played great."
Shirley went to the bench for a breather to start the fourth quarter and Morrison exploded for seven straight Hermiston points and the Bulldogs had the game in hand with a 56-31 lead with five minutes left.
"It feels good to get this win," Shirley said. "It's great competing against another great post player and it challenges us."
The Bulldogs were challenged some by Cox, who scored 22 points for Bend, but Hermiston's defense held the rest of the Lava Bears to just 13 points.
"I thought our defensive effort was pretty good," Royer said. "Keri Cox played well for Bend and she is tough inside."
Morrison finished with 12 points and Frutchey added 10 points.
"It will be huge to get a win over Redmond," Shirley said. "They will try and take Aundrea and myself out of the game, but it will be major if we can get the win."
Sports reporter Joe McHaney can be reached at 1-800-522-0255 (ext. 1-236) or by e-mail at email@example.com.