BAKER – What is perfection? Finishing a league season 8-0? Finishing a season 29-0? Finishing a season with a state title?
The answers to all these questions is the 2020 Crane girls’ basketball team.
The Mustangs put the exclamation point on an outstanding season with a 45-41 victory over the St. Paul Buckaroos in the championship game of the 1A State Basketball Championship on Saturday, March 7 in Baker.
“When we play together, we are tough to beat,” said Crane coach Stub Travis as he watched the members of his team climb a ladder to cut down a piece of the ceremonial net.
Related: Crane Sports Action Photos
The Mustangs and Buckaroos took the court before a packed house in the Baker gym. Prior to the game, jokes were thrown around concerning a deserted Harney County, a comment with more truth than fiction.
The two teams had seen each other once prior this season. Ranked one and two by the OSAA, Crane downed St. Paul on January 25, 64-49. The loss had knocked the then-ranked St. Paul off the number one ranking and pushed Crane to the top of the heap. But that game was months ago and this was the title game of the state championship.
The Mustangs took the early lead, scoring with just under a minute off the game clock when Kelsie Siegner drive down the middle of the Buckaroo defense and put Crane up, 2-0.
St. Paul found their first point of the game from the free throw line as Erin Counts converted one of two shots.
Crane continued the scoring and with 4 minutes, 40 seconds left in the quarter, St. Paul coach Dave Matlock had seen enough and called a time out with his team trailing, 1-7. The speech failed to motivate the Buckaroos much as Crane led 16-3 at the buzzer marking the end of the first quarter.
Photo Gallery – Crane v St. Paul – Girls Basketball – John Braese
Late in the second quarter, the Buckaroos started to make a move, scoring the final five points of the half and trailed only by four points, 18-22 as the teams hit the locker room.
The lead went back to 12 points as the third quarter ended and the Mustangs led 37-25. A change in defense late in the game allowed St. Paul to climb back into the game, but with Travis allowing all his players a chance for the taste of a state title, Crane cruised to the state win.
“St. Paul is a hell of a team,” Travis said. “I think today, we just played outstanding defense at times. When we want to, we can stop any team and we did that in this game.”
The Mustang defense held the Buackaroos to under 30 percent from the field for the game. Going outside to score, St. Paul was held to 2-for-10 from the three point line.
Although Travis maintained his defense was stellar, the Crane offense was not bad either. The Mustangs ended the game with a solid 40 percent from the field and connected on the long range shots 50 percent of the time.
Siegner, named Player of the Game for Crane, led all scorers with 17 points. Shelie Doman added 8 points to go with four steals. Riley Davis pulled down 17 rebounds and put in 5 points. Dani Clark ended her night with 7 points.
For St. Paul, Counts led the team with 14 points. Mary Davidson added 7 points.
To speak of a repeat state title at this juncture is preliminary. But, to the dismay of teams in the High Desert League and the remainder of the 1A teams, Crane loses only two seniors from this season’s state title squad. And for coaches of next year’s squads, there may be more bad news.
“We will have a freshman point guard coming in next year that is amazing,” Travis reported.
CRANE 45, ST. PAUL 41
ST. PAUL (28-1)
Erin Counts 4-13 5-6 14; Isabelle Wyss 2-8 3-4 7; Mary Davidson 2-10 3-4 7;
Anabelle Davidson 3-9 0-0 6; Karlee Southerland 1-2 0-0 3; Abby Gonzalez 1-2
0-0 2; Diana Hernandez 1-3 0-2 2; Frankie Lear 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 11-16
Kelsie Siegner 8-19 0-2 17; Shelie Doman 3-7 2-5 8; Dani Clark 3-7 0-0 7;
Riley Davis 2-7 1-2 5; Taelor Hammack 2-5 0-0 5; Laurel Witzel 1-2 0-0 3;
Jessica Zander 0-0 0-0 0; Risa Thompson 0-0 0-0 0; Kaylee Carson 0-0 0-0 0;
Leslie Doman 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-47 3-9 45.
St. Paul…………………. 3 15 7 16 – 41
Crane……………………. 16 6 15 8 – 45
3-point goals–St. Paul 2-10 (Erin Counts 1-5; Karlee Southerland 1-1; Mary
Davidson 0-1; Anabelle Davidson 0-1; Isabelle Wyss 0-2), Crane 4-8 (Taelor
Hammack 1-2; Dani Clark 1-2; Kelsie Siegner 1-3; Laurel Witzel 1-1). Fouled
out–St. Paul-None, Crane-Riley Davis. Rebounds–St. Paul 32 (Erin Counts
7 (Taelor Hammack 2). Total fouls–St. Paul 13, Crane 15. Technical
fouls–St. Paul-None, Crane-None.
OSAA OnPOint Community Credit Union State Championships
Moda Health Players of the Game:
Erin Counts, St. Paul
Kelseie Siegner, Crane