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N. Bend surprises Crater in tourney


-- If anyone was beginning to feel that invincibility had joined the Crater High girls basketball team, North Bend put an abrupt halt to that notion in the championship game of the Airport Chevrolet Tip-Off Tournament on Saturday.

Andrea Armstrong, a 6-foot-4 senior center who is headed to Kansas State University on a basketball scholarship, scored 20 points and grabbed 15 rebounds to lead the Bulldogs to a 59-51 upset of the No. 8-ranked Comets at Crater High.

North Bend took advantage of a huge disparity at the free-throw line, hitting 21 of 36 attempts compared to 5 of 7 by the Comets.

The Bulldogs also hammered the hosts on the backboards, 33-14.

I'm not sure we're as good as people think we are, Crater coach Dave Heard said. We did not come out ready to play today.

The sluggishness was particularly evident on the boards, where North Bend -- led by Armstrong and 6-3 Jessie MacPherson -- dominated throughout.

Nonetheless, Crater stayed close, thanks to the long-range shooting of Sarah Yager, Sarah Pool, Skye Hemphill and Brandi Hall, who combined to make six 3-point baskets. North Bend failed to connect on a basket from beyond the arc.

But the perimeter scoring couldn't make up for the difference in free throws, a statistic that clearly irked Heard.

Asked if his team might possibly have become smug following blowout victories over Yreka, Calif., and a highly-regarded Reno High team, Heard said, It's possible we've got some inflated egos. If that indeed is the case, then this is probably the best thing to happen to us.

It doesn't affect us in any way as far as the goals we set. It doesn't affect us in league. If we can let go of it mentally and learn from it, then it could help us down the road.

NORTH BEND (59)-- S. Muth 16, J. Muth 11, Armstrong 20, MacPherson 2, Mills 6, Smith 4. Totals -- 19-31 21-36 59.

CRATER (51)--Yager 11, Hemphill 8, Pool 9, Sapienza 2, McLeod 5, Wiersma 3, Hall 3, Denson 8, Johnson 2. Totals -- 20-54 5-7 51.



...........14 9 17 19 -- 59 Crater

..................12 11 12 16 -- 51

3-point goals -- Crater 6 (Yager 3, Hemphill 1, Pool 1, Hall 1). Fouled out -- Yager. Technical fouls -- Crater coach Heard.