ARLINGTON, ORE. - For the third year in a row, the Bickleton High School girls basketball team has claimed the Arlington High School-hosted Snowball Tournament championship title.
The Lady Pirates headed into the championship round after defeating Country Christian, 41-26, last Friday night in Arlington.
Saturday, the Lady Pirates faced Arlington High School, who defeated Glenwood to move into the championship game. Bickleton's final score was 44-29 for the title.
The Lady Pirates' Annie Hess, who had a game high 23 points in the championship game, was voted to the "All-Tournament Team," said Bickleton Coach Tom Whitmore.
She also had 21 points in Friday night's game to be team point leader against Country Christian.
Also named to the All-Tournament squad was Bickleton's Kirstin Slater, who collected 8 points and 11 rebounds against Country Christian on Friday night. She also had 8 points and 13 rebounds in the Arlington-Bickleton match-up.
"Annie and Kirsten owned the boards this weekend," said Whitmore. He also credited Corryn Raschko with aiding in the team's victory.
"Corryn was able to bring the ball down the court and kept our offense going all weekend," Whitmore said.
"Everyone on the team contributed with great passing, finding the open man and they were especially skilled at penetrating Arlington's press," he explained.
While Arlington may have lacked height, Whitmore said the team had speed. "They created a few turnovers with their full court press. However, they just couldn't convert those turnovers into points," Whitmore explained.
In Friday night's Country Christian game, the Lady Pirates commanded the game's direction from the start. Country Christian tried unsuccessfully to double team Hess. When Hess was moved out to the wing, the ploy opened up the middle for the other Bickleton players to make their move, Whitmore explained.
Friday night, Raschko began the tournament in great form, doing what she does best, bringing the ball down the court, said Whitmore.
While the Bickleton girls didn't shoot well from the free throw line (11/25), they took advantage of the rebounds at the hands of Hess and Slater. Bickleton's Ilsa Chapple and Amber Bennett each contributed five rebounds in Friday's game.
Tomorrow (Tuesday), the Lady Pirates (3-0) will travel to West Valley for a non-league game with the West Valley freshmen team. The Bickleton girls' league contests will begin Friday night at Lyle.