The Brookings-Harbor Lady Bruins began their playoff run in stellar fashion by defeating the Stayton Eagles, 73-49, at Brookings-Harbor high school on Friday night.
Junior guard Iva Hart led BHHS with 19 points, 14 of those in a second quarter that saw the Lady Bruins open up a 30-plus point lead they would never relinquish.
"I was shooting well and actually driving (to the basket). Usually I'm pretty timid," said a humble Hart about her performance.
"I wanted to play really hard tonight because it was our last home game and just go all out for our playoff game."
After a suprising beginning, which saw the Eagles breakout to an early 4-1 lead, the Lady Bruin pressing, trapping defense began to prove to much for a young Stayton team to handle. After the ealy lead the Eagles were only able to score four more points in the quarter and went nearly eight minutes without a field goal.
Hart's 14-points in the second quarter came mostly off of turnovers due to the Lady Bruin defensive pressure.
"They're not used to the pressure. Teams don't really press in their league," said Hart.
"We played really good on-goal and on-ball defense tonight."
"Really good" may be an understatement. The defensive pressure, which has been a cornerstone of BHHS' success this season, was ramped up for Friday's play-in game.
Hart, Mallory McDonald, Francesca Farr, Drew Farmer and a slew of other Lady Bruins treated the basketball as a winning lottery ticket, as they swarmed and pestered any Eagle that possesed the ball. At one point during the second quarter the Eagles committed 8 turnovers in a row.
That defense swiftly turned to offense as the Lady Bruins quickly turned a tight game in the first few minutes into a rout.
BHHS outscored Stayton, 20-8, in the first quarter and held a 27-point lead at halftime.
Hart had plenty of help on offense, McDonald scored 13-points, Courney Kay tallied 11-points, and Drew Farmer had 10 in the convincing win.
To Stayton's credit, they attmepted a valiant comback, outscoring the Lady Bruins in the third quarter by a score of 17-8, though most of BHHS' starters were resting at that point of the game.
Stayton was able to trim the lead down to 14-points at one point in the fourth quarter, however, the Lady Bruins responded by continuing to work the ball inside and get high-percentage shots against an Eagle team that was starting three freshman and one sophomore.
The Lady Bruins hit 9 of 12 free-throws down the stretch to seal the deal and start the playoff season with a solid 73-49 victory.
The win sets up a rematch against a bitter playoff-rival, Cottage Grove.
Last season, BHHS travelled to Cottage Grove high school and beat the Lions on their home court by a score of 61-42, turning a close game into a late rout.
The Lions will be licking their chops at a chance for redemption against a highly-ranked Lady Bruin team.
"We want to beat Cottage Grove again," said Hart. "We want to beat them again by a lot. It's fun to beat teams that think they can beat you but then can't handle our pressure (defense)."
BHHS is set to play Cottage Grove at Cottage Grove high school this coming Friday.
The winner will then be headed for the 4A state tournament at Gill Coliseum.