After two close games that went down to the wire, the Hermiston girls basketball team had a little fun during their Feb. 4 game.

Jayden Ray scored a game-high 12 points on her 17th birthday as the Bulldogs celebrated a 63-39 Mid-Columbia Conference road win over Kamiakin.

“It was so nice to see them play as a team, and confident,” Hermiston coach Maloree Moss said.

“We played a lot of girls, and we were on the same page and willing to work.”

Ray scored all of her points in the first three quarters as the Bulldogs (12-7, 9-6 MCC) enjoyed a 47-29 lead.

“It was a good win, especially after the last two were so close,” said Ray, who also had seven rebounds.

“After the half, we kept the high intensity and got the job done. It was really nice to have a smooth basketball game.”

Kamiakin (4-15, 3-12 MCC), which has long ruled the roost in the MCC, suffered its fifth loss in a row.

“We have some youth and inexperience,” Braves coach Lane Schumacher said.

“We’ve taken some lumps this year. Hermiston does a really nice job of running their offense, and they have some nice shooters. When they get by you, you have to be out on them. They hurt us.”

The Bulldogs opened the game with an 11-8 lead after the first quarter, but extended their lead to 26-19 at the half.

A 21-10 run in the third, bolstered by seven points by Katelyn Heideman, and six by Kaylee Young, put Hermiston up 47-29.

In the fourth, Madison Feigum hit a pair of 3-pointers, and Young and Mia Hernandez each had one as the Bulldogs cruised to victory.

“They played hard and recognized what we were doing defensively and offensively,” Moss said of her team. “We pushed the ball and got transition points, which was nice.”

Bailey Young came off the bench to score 10 points and haul down 10 rebounds, while Jazlyn Romero had eight points, seven rebounds and and handful of assists.

Kaylee Young added 11 points, and Heideman nine.

“It’s nice to have someone like her to dish the ball,” Ray said of Romero.

Kathryn Hollenberg led the Braves with 11 points, while Lindsey Benham added 10.

MCC boys basketball

KAMIAKIN 84, HERMISTON 50 — Ivan Rangel poured in a career-high 23 points, but his efforts weren’t enough as the Bulldogs dropped an MCC road game to the Braves.

“In the third quarter, he went off,” Hermiston coach Drew Preuninger said of Rangel.

“He had 13 points. He was shooting with confidence.”

The Bulldogs (2-17, 1-14 MCC), who trailed 41-17 at the half, outscored the Braves 25-22 in the third quarter.

“All year long, the third quarter has been killing us,” Preuninger said.

“The past few games it has been good.”

The Braves (16-3, 12-3 MCC) opened the game with a 15-0 run, getting eight points from 6-foot-9 senior Kyson Rose.

Kamiakin led 22-6 at the end of the quarter.

“In the first half, we gave up way too many offensive rebounds,” Preuninger said. “In the second half, they gave me more effort. We just need to do that the whole game.”

Sophomore Chase Elliott added 11 points for the Bulldogs, while Trent Pitney had five points and six rebounds.

Rose finished with a double-double of 15 points and 14 rebounds. Trey Arland added 16 points, while Messiah Jones chipped in 15.

“Their kids are big and they work really hard,” Preuninger said of the Braves.

“They have some really good players, that is tough to coach against.”

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