By Derek Wiley

The Bulletin

Bend jumped out to a 15-point lead at halftime of its home opener.

The Lava Bears were just getting warmed up.

Playing defense as a team, Bend cruised to a 65-33 nonleague girls basketball win over Ridgeview Tuesday night.

“I think the most important thing that we’ve been preaching every day in practice is that we have to be really unselfish, not just defending one person but we defend as a team,” Bend coach Allison Gardner said. “We’ve been really working on that. We needed to be in position and not reach but be there with our body. We did a lot of that tonight. I was really proud of them.”

The Lava Bears were just as unselfish offensively as three players scored in double digits.

Kaycee Brown, the only returning starter from last year’s Bend team that finished fifth in the state, had 12 points in three quarters.

“We knew we needed to come together and play together as hard as we could and leave it all out there,” Brown said. “We really wanted the win.”

With a comfortable 46-22 lead, Bend’s starting five spent the fourth quarter on the bench.

Playing three freshmen, a sophomore and junior, the Lava Bears didn’t miss a beat.

Freshman Elli Kent led the second unit, scoring nine of her 12 points in the quarter.

“We don’t really take a big step down,” Gardner said, referring to the team’s reserves. “Our youth really shows up and they give us good minutes. It’s good for our starters in practice because they’re playing against good kids every day and it’s also nice to see those kids come in and get some minutes and confidence because we’re going to need them all season.”

Rachel Dairy scored eight of her 10 points in the final period.

“They’re just a great part of the team,” Brown said of the bench. “They bring a lot. They’re really good and we’re so proud of them and support them.”

Trinity Barudoni and Sydney Gardner each added nine points for Class 6A Bend (1-1) against 5A Ridgeview (0-2).

“I was so proud of how unselfish they played,” coach Gardner said. “Find the open man, find the mismatch. That’s how we like to play and they really did that tonight.”

Ridgeview struggled against Bend’s size.

“They’re long and they’re tall and we’re not used to that,” Ravens coach Shan Hartford said. “Kaycee and Caitlin (Wheeler) create a lot of havoc with their length. We didn’t keep our spacing very well and we were trying to push the ball too hard and too fast. We weren’t being patient enough.”

Alaina Clark scored 14 points to lead Ridgeview.

Rylee Troutman, a second-team All-Intermountain Conference player last season for the Ravens, missed the game with a concussion.

“Bend’s got a good team,” Hartford said. “They shot the ball really well tonight but this is not indicative of how well we can play.”

­­— Reporter: 541-383-0307, dwiley@bendbulletin.com

21927677