It was an up-and-down day for the Oregon girls basketball team, as they wrapped up play at the Dixon Holiday Tournament.
On Friday, the Hawks lost to Stillman Valley 55-39, but came back later to beat LaSalle-Peru 43-40 to finish 2-2 overall.
Oregon was seemingly in control of the Stillman game, only to see the Cardinals go on a 25-4 run in the fourth quarter.
“I’ve never seen anything like that,” Oregon coach Kristy Eckardt said. “The whole second half - we collapsed. We turned the ball over, forced shots and played bad defense.”
The Hawks were also hurt by Olivia Lambrigsten and Jessica Hunt in foul trouble and the absence of Meredith Gelander.
“Stillman Valley capitalized on our mistakes and made a ton of free throws,” Eckardt said.
With Baily Montavon dominating play in the middle, Oregon got off to a quick start. They led 29-17 at half and still managed a 35-30 lead before imploding the final eight minutes.
Montavon led all scorers with 17 points. Hunt chipped in nine. For the Cardinals, Anna Broski and Georgia Ballard each had 13 points. Stllman made 20 of 27 free throw attempts.
“Thankfully, we get to play them again,” said Eckardt, referring to the Feb. 2 regular-season finale.
Against LaSalle-Peru, it was the opposite scenario. The Cavaliers led by 10 points in the third quarter before Oregon took a 19-10 fourth-quarter advantage.
“L-P was making their shots. After we got down, we didn’t get worried,” Eckardt said.
Another key for Oregon was having Gelander back.
“Meredith had a family funeral and was able to make it back by halftime of the L-P game,” Eckardt said. “That was the spark we needed with her fresh legs.”
Gelander was a part of balanced scoring attack, as Montavon, Hunt and her combined for 30 of the 43 points.
“It was nice to have another game. The earlier (Stillman Valley) game left a bad taste,” Eckardt said.
After playing in two holiday tournaments over the past two weeks, Oregon will have a short break before a non-conference game at Indian Creek on Jan. 6. Conference play resumes on Jan. 9 against Byron (6-7).
“It will nice to get some practices in to work on some things we’ve seen the last couple of weeks,” Eckardt said. “I’m really pleased. When we’re clicking, I see potential. We just need consistency to finish off games.”
Belvidere North 62,
Oregon trailed 33-19 at the half and never recovered in the opening game of the tournament.
Kitzmiller led Oregon with 13, including three treys, followed by Lambrigtsen with 10, and Hunt and Montavon with eight each.
Oregon scored 22 points in the second quarter to take a 32-26 lead into the half and added 36 in the second half en route to the second round win on Dec. 28.
Hunt led all scorers with 17 point with 10 coming in the fourth quarter. Montavon had 15 points followed by Gelander with 12, Lambrigtsen with 10, Lani Morris with 8, and Addie Kitzmiller with 6.
In Oregon’s first game on Dec. 29, Montavon led all scorers with 17 followed by Hunt with 9, Lambrigtsen with 7, Kitzmiller with 4, and Morris with 2. Stillman made 20 of 27 free throws while Oregon was 8 for 9.
LaSalle Peru 40
In their second game on Dec. 29, Oregon trailed 22-14 at the half and 30-24 going into the fourth quarter before outscoring L-P 19-10 for the win.
Montavon led Oregon with 11 points (7 in the fourth quarter) followed by Gelander with 10 (8 in the fourth quarter). Hunt added 8 while Kitzmiller scored 7 followed by Palmer with 3, Morris and Lambrigtsen with 2 each.
Oregon made 10 of 15 free throws to L-P’s 5-12.