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Cascade's Peck, Tait earn all-Big Fir honors

DAVE DAUGHERTY

Even before the 1997-98 season began, Cascade Christian girls basketball coach Loren King knew he had an uphill climb ahead of him.

King lost nine girls from last year's crew that advanced to the state tournament in Pendleton and only returning two starters -- Crystal Tait and Natalie Peck.

But behind the two juniors, the Challengers fashioned an impressive 16-10 record and, for their efforts, Tait and Peck were named first-team all-Big Fir League.

Junior Liz Bresnan, of league champion Glendale, was named player of the year, while North Douglas' Bill Spelgotti was named coach of the year after resurrecting a floundering Warriors' squad.

Bresan, Tait and Peck were joined on the first-team by Yoncalla sharpshooting senior guard Shauna Bendele, North Douglas senior center Adie Perini and Bresnan's older sister and teammate, Rebekah.

As Tait and Peck went this past season, so went the Challengers, who were a game away from advancing to the regional tournament before falling to Yoncalla in the Big Fir tournament.

Tait, a point guard averaged 18 points, five assists, five rebounds and five steals a game, while Peck averaged 16 points a contest.

It's obvious they were our leaders and we depended on them, said King. I think they felt a lot of pressure to carry the load for us. They felt if they didn't do it for us it wouldn't happen at all.

Bresnan, also a junior, was the pilot for a Glendale team that was clearly the best in the league.

She really sees the floor better than most boys and girls, said King. She's a heads-up ballplayer.

St. Mary's senior Christal Rainey was named to the second-team.

FIRST TEAM

Liz Bresnan, Glendale jr. Crystal Tait, Cascade Christian jr. Rebekah Bresnan, Glendale sr. Shauna Bendele, Yoncalla sr. Natalie Peck, Cascade Christian jr. Adie Perini, North Douglas sr. Player of the Year -- Liz Bresnan, Glendale. Coach of the Year -- Bill Spelgotti, North Douglas

SECOND TEAM

Lori Baimbridge, Oakland sr. Christal Rainey, St. Mary's sr. Robin Childs, Pacific sr. Lena Williams, Yoncalla sr. Sarah Maurer, Glendale jr.

HONORABLE MENTION

Sommer Prestianni, Glendale, sr.; Colleen Fleming, Glendale, jr.; Sarah Means, Yoncalla, sr.; Jhana Gilbert, Yoncalla, jr.; Tifanee Johnsrud, North Douglas, sr.; Holly Black, North Douglas, jr.; Christine McCandless, Cascade Christian, so.; Katie Woody, Oakland, jr.; Jessica Bottaro, Oakland, fr.; Kristie Martin, Riddle, jr.; Crystal Schofield, Riddle, so.; Lani Brophy, St. Mary's, fr.