Its Far West league opener was a tough pill to swallow for the Lady Bruins basketball team, which rolled in to Medford last Friday to take on the Cascade Christian Challengers.
With two minutes left in the game and behind by one point, 40-41, it looked like Brookings-Harbor High School just might pull out the win.
The Lady Bruins had come into the game ranked No. 7 for 3A schools statewide. Trouble is, somebody forgot to tell that to the No. 14 Challengers.
In a game where the home team led throughout, the Bruins found themselves on defense and playing catch up.
Cascade Christian led at the end of the first quarter, 12-11.
In the second period, the Challengers’ junior guard, Katelyn Willard, knocked down a three-pointer and Cascade Christian pulled away, 19-13.
The Blue and Gold had trouble landing buckets, but
Chris Schofield’s Lady Bruins managed to close the gap when senior guard Sidney Alexander fired a three-pointer of her own to make it 20-24 with 9 seconds left in the half.
Alexander uncorked another three from behind the arc with 2:02 left in the third period and the score was 31-32. But Willard answered with a three at the buzzer to keep coach Joe Thomas’s Challengers in the driver’s seat 37-31.
Brookings’ Lexee Murray hit from way out yonder early in the fourth quarter to narrow the score to 34-37.
A technical foul called against Bruin senior guard Avana Pettus, for making contact with the Challengers’ Paisley Fish, made it 34-39.
But the Lady Bruins weren’t finished yet. Sierra Fitzhugh chipped in two free throws and Alexander nailed a running jumper to make it interesting at 40-41, with under two minutes to go in the game.
With the clock winding down, the Bruins purposely fouled Fish and then Neha Joseph. Their 1+1 bonus shots both failed, and Brookings got the ball back with 14 seconds left on the clock.
Following a brief timeout to chat strategy with their coach, the Lady Bruins’ in-bound play was foiled by the Challengers, with Fish coming up with the ball and content to run out the clock.
A desperation foul sent Fish to the line, where she added two points for the Challengers, getting the upset win 43-40.
The Lady Bruins now are 0-1 in league play.
Leading the scoring for Brookings-Harbor was Alexander (11).
For Cascade Christian, Fish had 16 and Willard, 12.
On Tuesday, the Lady Bruins return home to face Douglas, a team they beat earlier this year, 61-47.
On Friday, Brookings is back on the road at Sutherlin for more 3A Far West league action.
Game times are 7 p.m.