ONTARIO – Eastern Oregon is a vast area and miles of driving separate 1A schools. When making the trip to play league games, hours are spent on a small school bus, often with a bag of snacks and no cell coverage. This is true for the Crane girls’ basketball team, the second ranked team in the state.
Making the trip to take on two High Desert teams, the Mustang girls had no problems in finding the basket-actually many baskets. Crane downed the Harper Hornets, 72-8 on Thursday, January 23 and added 83 additional points to their two day total on Friday, January 24 in a 83-24 victory over Four Rivers.
Fans attending either game saw very little of the Mustang starters. At the Four Rivers matchup, Crane coach Stub Davis pulled his initial five players after only one quarter of play and still led 51-10 at the half.
“Four Rivers worked hard against us and that is what the game is all about,” David said of the Falcon opponents.
The story is not about two blowout wins, but how the Crane girls have come to this point.
“We have played together since we were in second grade,” said Crane junior Shelie Doman. “This same group played grade school ball and then played summer league together. We have all been on the basketball court as a team since we were seven or eight.”
Here is the bad news for the rest of the High Desert League-the team only has two seniors.
“We are young and pretty much everyone comes back next year,” said junior Kelsie Siegner.
Back to plans for this year, the Mustangs face the team’s toughest opponent to date on Saturday with a trip to Bend to meet St. Paul in a battle of one versus two in the standings.
“I am excited and really looking forward to the St. Paul game,” said Siegner. “All the extra hours we have put practicing come down to this game.”
After the St. Paul game, the Mustangs look towards state.
“Our goal is to win state,” Siegner said.
“No, our goal is to win state by 20 points,” Doman added laughing.
In an 83 point game, there are vast statistics. Suffice to say, 11 Mustang players added to the point total with a talented group of freshmen and sophomores picking up the bulk of the playing time.
The Falcons of Four Rivers struggled against a talented team. Freshman Mariana Lopez led the way with 13 points, possibly a glimpse of the Falcon future.