Orion holds off Rockridge rally in WCC North girls' opener


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Posted Online: Nov. 29, 2012, 10:15 pm
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By Terry Duckett, tduckett@qconline.com
ORION -- Already up 17 at halftime of Thursday's West Central North girls' basketball opener, Orion looked ready to run away and hide after scoring the first six points of the third quarter.

However, the Rockridge Rockets didn't get that memo, as they turned up the heat defensively and started to find the range with the ball in their hands, closing that 23-point deficit down to seven when reserve guard Devin Hasson scored to beat the third-period buzzer.

The Rockets' comeback bid continued into the fourth quarter as they closed the gap to one point, but a timely 3-pointer by Orion's Baillie McCunn helped the Chargers hold off one last Rockridge rally for a 48-47 victory.

"I saw an open shot, went with it and took it,'' said McCunn, who knocked down four 3-pointers en route to a game-high 18 points and seven rebounds. "We felt that the guards had to step up and show our heart offensively.''

Even with the loss, the Rockets (2-5) showed plenty of heart, as personified by junior guard Beth Meier. Posting 14 points, five rebounds and three steals, Meier helped ignite a rally that begin with Rockridge down 37-14 early in the third period.

With Molly Wright and Michaela Stoneking (10 rebounds) each adding key buckets, the Rockets closed the third with an 18-2 run.

"Beth has played well the last couple of nights, and she got things going (Thursday),'' said Rockridge coach Shawn Strachan. "She's not the most finesse player in the world, but she does a nice job of hustling.''

Baskets by Miranda Potter and Taylor Cullen had the Rockets down 39-38 with 5:18 left in the game before McCunn stepped up with her crucial 3-pointer. Held to four points through three periods, Orion senior center Cassidy Clark (11 rebounds, nine points) then scored five key points to help the hosts strech their lead to 48-40.

"We need to learn to close games, and we will,'' said Orion coach John McBride, whose 3-2 club was playing its first game in almost two weeks. "We weren't patient; we were throwing the ball all over the place. Shawn gets his kids playing hard, and they played hard and aggressive.''

At the game's outset, McCunn drained a pair of first-quarter treys as the Chargers grabbed a 14-4 lead after one. Sophomore Abby DeBaillie then scored eight of her 10 points in the second quarter to help Orion stretch that lead to 31-14 by halftime.

But once the defense kicked in for Rockridge -- it forced Orion into 16 second-half turnovers -- that's when things started to happen for the Rockets.

"We dug ourselves a hole in the first half, and didn't start the third quarter well,'' said Strachan. "I called a timeout and challenged the girls to battle back, and that's what they did, chipped away a little at a time. This was definitely a team effort, and while it's sad we couldn't get the win out of all that hard work and effort, I'm proud of what they did.''



















 



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  Today is Tuesday, July 22, the 203rd day of 2014. There are 162 days left in the year.

1864 -- 150 years ago: Everybody is invited to go on a moonlight excursion next Monday evening on the steamer New Boston. The trip will be from Davenport to Muscatine and back.
1889 -- 125 years ago: The mayor and bridge committee let a contract to the Clinton Bridge company for a $1,125 iron bridge across Sears canal near Milan.
1914 -- 100 years ago: Injunction proceedings to compel the Central Association to keep a baseball team in Rock Island for the remainder of the season were contemplated by some of the Rock Island fans, but they decided to defer action.
1939 -- 75 years ago: The first of the new and more powerful diesel engines built for the Rock Island Lines for the proposed Chicago-Denver run, passed thru the Tri-Cities this morning.
1964 -- 50 years ago: The Rock Island Rescue Mission is negotiating for the purchase of the Prince Hall Masonic Home located at 37th Avenue and 5th Street, Rock Island.
1989 -- 25 years ago: Quad Cities Container Terminal is being lauded as a giant business boon that will save several days and hundreds of dollars on each goods shipment to the coasts. The Quad Cities Container Terminal is the final piece of the puzzle that opens up increase access to world markets, Robert Goldstein said.








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