By GERRY STEELE
firstname.lastname@example.org Powder Valley just seems to have Pine-Eagle's number this season.
The two teams met for the third time Saturday in the Distruct 7-1A girls basketball tournament, and for the third time the Lady Badgers were victorious.
During the regular season Powder Valley won the first meeting by four points, then won later in overtime.
Saturday, in the Baker High School gym, Powder had to overcome a second-quarter rally by Pine-Eagle to earn the district title and a first round bye in the Class 1A state playoffs.
Powder Valley rode 16 first-half points from Jessica Pedro to a 24-17 halftime lead.
Pine-Eagle rallied in the third quarter to knot the game at 36-36 entering the fourth quarter.
The game was still tied at 45-45 with 4:08 left in the game. That's when Powder Valley regained control.
The Lady Badgers outscored Pine-Eagle 12-3 the rest of the game for the win.
"It was a great team win," said Powder coach Allen Bingham.
"Like it has all season this team will bend a little bit, but then is able to make the big plays when it needs to. That's just heart."
Pedro finished the game with 30 points and 14-of-23 shooting.
"Jessica is just a pure shooter," Bingham said.
"I don't know of anybody, boy or girl, who has a prettier shot."
Pine-Eagle coach Roger Gulick just shook his head when asked about Pedro.
"She never shoots that well any time I've seen her. And, we were a step slow on defense trying to get to her," Gulick said.
Another key was Powder Valley's defense on Pine-Eagle sharpshooter Chelsie Gulick.
Gulick, who scored 29 points in Friday's semifinal, and had scored 28 points earlier in the month, was held to just 10 points on 2-of-8 shooting.
Katie Feik drew the assignment of shadowing Gulick, and did her job according to her coach.
"Katie Feik did a phenomenal job on Gulick," Bingham said.
"To hold a player as good as Gulick is to just 10 points was phenomenal, just phenomenal."
Powder's quickness also caused Pine-Eagle headaches.
"We didn't play well in the first half, but played a pretty good second half," Coach Gulick said.
"We knew they would have a game plan against Chelsie. We just didn't run our offense.
"We thought we'd be okay once we got the lead. At halftime I told the girls to just be patient and go to the basket."
Gulick said that plan worked to get the Spartans back into the game, but then they quit following the plan.
"We quit running our offense in the final three minutes and the ball wouldn't go in the basket."
Bingham said much of his team's quickness on defense is because of his team's long arms.
"A lot of it is length," he said. "Our big girls have such long reach they get to more balls. That gives Alexandra Colton, our point guard, a better chance to get out and go."
Bingham said Pedro, Ali Abrego and Jessi Stephens form a solid front line. And, when they get into foul trouble, as Stephens and Abrego did in the second period, Bingham can call on Jayde Silbernagel and McKinsey Hampton off the bench.
"Jessi is just such a workhorse inside," Bingham said.
"And Jayde and McKinsey. That was probably the most they've played in a game this season, and in a big game. They allowed us to rest Jessi and Ali most of the second quarter while they were in foul trouble."
Pedro scored eight of Powder's 11 points in the first quarter to build an 11-7 edge at the break.
She added eight more points in the second quarter as the Lady Badgers increased their lead to 24-17 at halftime.
Meanwhile, Feik was holding Gulick to just two first-half points.
Pine-Eagle rallied in thethird quarter behind Bri Thatcher. Thatcher scored 11 of her 20 points in the quarter, including a pair of three-point baskets.
Thatcher's rebound basket with 16 seconds left in the period pulled Pine-Eagle into a 36-all tie entering the fourth quarter.
Two more baskets by Thatcher to start the fourth quarter gave Pine-Eagle its first lead, 40-36, with 7:10 left in the game.
The teams then traded the lead until Pedro's basket with 4:08 left in the game knotted the score at 45-45.
Stephens then gave the Lady Badgers the lead for good, 47-45, with a rebound basket with 3:32 left.
Abrego led Powder Valley rebounders with 10. Colton had seven assists.
Thatcher had 15 rebounds and five assists to top Pine-Eagle.
Pine-Eagle hosts Crane at 6 p.m. in a Class 1A state first round game Tuesday at Halfway.
Powder Valley awaits the winner of Tuesday's Triad-Prairie City for a second round game at North Powder on Friday.
Gulick 2 6-6 10, B. Thatcher 8 2-4 20, Butler, Carr 2 1-2 5, M. Thatcher 3 0-1 6, Terjeson 1 1-2 3, Davis 2 0-1 4. Totals 18 10-16 48.
POWDER VALLEY (57) andshy;
Pedro 14 2-4 30, Abrego 2 5-8 9, K. Feik 4 0-0 8, Colton 2 4-9 8, Stephens 1 0-4 2, Trindle, Hampton, Silbernagel, A. Feik. Totals 23 11-25 57.
12 - 48
21 - 57
Powder Valleyandshy; 11
Three-point baskets - B. Thatcher 2. Fouled out -Gulick, Abrego. Total fouls -Pine-Eagle 22, Powder Valley 17 . Techincals -none.