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Lady Hawks handle Eastland 69-53

Oregon's Madeline Sanders and Eastland's Megan Janssen fight for a loose ball in the first quarter Tuesday night. Photo by Chris Johnson
Oregon's Madeline Sanders and Eastland's Megan Janssen fight for a loose ball in the first quarter Tuesday night. Photo by Chris Johnson

Sam Lambrigtsen and Emy Wright combined for 27 of Oregon 29 first half points against Eastland Tuesday.

In the second half, the pair also got into the assist business, leading the Lady Hawks to a 69-53 non-conference win.

“That was a fun one, getting everyone involved,” Oregon coach Kristy Eckardt said. “We needed to do that when they started keying on those two.”

Lambrigtsen found Kimmie Janke under the basket for an easy basket to start the second half. Wright then had consecutive assists to Madeline Sanders and split the defenders herself for another basket.

Sanders advanced Oregon’s (15-7) third-quarter lead to 46-27 on another Lambrigtsen feed and an unexpected rout of one of the top 1A team in the area was on.

“It was very difficult to stopping (Lambrigtsen),” Eastland coach Colleen Finn Henze said. “Every time you think you have her stopped, she takes one more explosive move.”

In the first four minutes of the game, Lambrigtsen had two steals, two blocks and seven points on her way to a game-high 27 points. Wright then took charge, scoring the next 10 points on accurate outside shooting.

Lexis Macomber, a 6-foot post player who finished with 25 points, scored two quick baskets to start the second quarter and cut Oregon’s lead to 17-13.

Not to worry, though, with Lambrigtsen on the floor. She was fouled and converted two free throws. On the next trip down the court, the all-state candidate split two defenders for another score. That drew the ire of Henze, who called timeout, slammed her clipboard in disgust and chastised her defense.

“We didn’t not play defense as well as we should,” Henze said. “We turned the ball over too much and didn’t get as many rebounds as we should with our height advantage.”

Following the timeout, Lambrigtsen made it 23-14 in favor of Oregon off an acrobatic steal. She closed the half out with a two more baskets, the final coming on a Sanders steal and assist.

Sanders chipped in 13 second half points to lead to Lady Hawks. Her most impressive basket came early in the fourth quarter after out-maneuvering a much taller opponent for an offensive rebound.

Contorting her body and muscling up the shot, she gave Oregon a 51-36 lead.

Prior to that play, Lambrigtsen provided more thrills for the fans at Mt. Morris with two quick scores off steals.

“It was tough for them to match up against Sam man-to-man,” Eckardt said.

The remainder of the fourth quarter was a foulfest, as both teams spent most their time at the charity stripe. Oregon was 12-for-18 in fourth-quarter free throws and Eastland was 10 for 14.

“Our defense really stepped up and we got the stops when we needed them,” Eckardt said.

“They (Oregon) shot very well from the field,” Henze said.

Wright finished with 17 points, as Lambrigtsen, Sanders and her combined for 57 of Oregon’s 69 points.

The Lady Hawks travel to Byron on Thursday for a crucial BNC matchup and then on to Mendota on Saturday.

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