LA PINE — Ugly wins count just as much as the pretty ones.
That was Culver girls basketball coach Scott Fritz’s message after a 35-29 victory at La Pine Wednesday night.
“Ugly wins can be good,” Fritz said. “I can go watch it on the computer and show them some stuff tomorrow. In the first half, we didn’t run our offense. We work transition every day because we’re fast and I don’t know if we got one transition basket off of a rebound.”
La Pine, despite missing its starting guards, juniors Cassidy Cummings and Autumn Gerard, with injuries, jumped out to an 11-2 lead in the season opener for both teams.
“We ran a triangle-and-two (defense) and I’m sure they hadn’t practiced against it,” first-year La Pine coach Brian Broaddus said. “It’s hard on the fly for a coach to draw something up, and they probably couldn’t talk about it until halftime.”
Not only had Culver not practiced playing against a triangle-and-two, Fritz had not planned to work on it.
“I’ve never had anybody triangle-and-two us,” Fritz said. “He (Broaddus) scouted well for being new here and not knowing our girls, but somebody told him.”
Culver senior Mia Gamboa ended La Pine’s 11-0 run with a 3-pointer at the end of the first quarter. Gamboa scored seven points in the first half as the Bulldogs took a 17-15 lead at halftime.
Irma Retano then carried Culver to victory in the second half, finishing the game with 12 points.
“I was really nervous starting my senior season, but once I was out there I wasn’t as nervous,” Retano said. “It was a rough day but first-game jitters are out the way.”
According to their coach, Retano and Gamboa will be counted on to lead the Bulldogs all season.
“They’re everything,” Fritz said. “They’re both first-team all-conference players. She’s (Retano) worked so hard all summer and fall. We’ve put in so many hours getting ready for college. She wanted it so bad that she was off her game.”
After falling behind by as many as 12 points in the second half, the Hawks finished the game on a 7-1 run to lose by six.
Senior Haily Hinkle led La Pine with 12 points.
The Hawks lost to Culver by 35 points to open last season in a game they trailed 35-1 at halftime.
“I’m so proud of the girls,” Broaddus said of the improvement.
— Reporter: 541-383-0307, firstname.lastname@example.org