There is a reason Sutherlin High School girls basketball is ranked second in the 3A Oregon Schools Athletic Association (O.S.A.A) polls.
Because they are that good.
Currently sitting pretty atop the 3A-5 Farwest League standings with a perfect 8-0 record, the Lady Bulldogs came to Brookings on Friday and reminded everybody here of that fact.
The Lady Bruins are no slouches mind you. Ranked seventh, holding down the second spot in league with an impressive (5-3) record after a 60-34 defeat of Douglas on Feb. 4, means that even with the misstep to these same Bulldogs — BHHS is poised for a postseason trip.
All that stands in the way of Chris Scofield’s team is icing the two final contests against last-place St. Mary’s (1-7) on Tuesday and South Umpqua (3-5) on Friday.
The Lady Bruins are the masters of their destiny for now, but dropping either one of those two final games would prime the pump for Cascade Christian (4-4) to tie things up.
The Challengers’ opponents for their close-out performances are against two schools occupying the lower-two rungs of the league ladder. The aforementioned Crusaders of St. Mary’s and struggling Douglas.
In the game against Sutherlin, the Bruins trailed by six points and the end of the first period 16-10.
Things got more interesting in the second period after BHHS senior guard, Avana Pettus, buried a triple to pull her team within three, 16-13.
Sutherlin made a run to the basket for two followed up with a Kiersten Haines trey to put the Lady Bulldogs in front 21-14.
The score dithered there until Brookings’ Sidney Alexander uncorked a long-distance 3-point cannonball to get to within 21-17 at the half.
Third-quarter action saw Sutherlin’s Haines get the hot hand again from out in the twilight zone pumping in two more three-pointers to ignite a 14-point scoring firestorm that had the Lady Bruins licking their wounds with only three points by quarter’s end 35-23.
Brookings-Harbor was down, but not out. Summoning up an impressive offensive show against the state’s second seed in the final period, BHHS knocked down two three-point shots courtesy of Shelby Jirsa and Lexi Schofield, but Sutherlin put the game out of reach contributing 14 points to put an exclamation mark on the win, 49-33.
Top scorers for BHHS were Jirsa with 10, Pettus with nine, Fitzhugh with six. For SHS, Haines led all scorers with 20.
Game times for the final two regular-season games are slated for 5:30 p.m.