MILTON-FREEWATER — Despite leading by 13 points in the third quarter and by five in the fourth, the Mac-Hi girls dropped a 34-28 non-league basketball decision to Umatilla here Tuesday night.
With Sierra Burchell scoring eight first-half points, the Pioneers rolled to an 18-8 lead by intermission.
"We had an amazing first half," Mac-Hi coach Curtis Pumphrey said. "If we can play that way the rest of the season, we’ll do great in league. We have to stay out of foul trouble because depth is our weakness. We didn’t do that tonight."
Burchell picked up her fourth foul with five minutes remaining in the third quarter. She finished with a game-high 14 points and seven rebounds, despite playing limited minutes in the second half.
"We were moving the ball around, making four to five passes on offense," Pumphrey said. "Then Sierra goes down with four fouls and we just never got our offensive momentum back. The press got to us and we made too many bad turnovers."
For most of the game, Umatilla stayed in a half-court trap and fell back into a 2-3 zone. The Vikings collected 13 steals while forcing 21 turnovers.
Double- and triple-teams also plagued Burchell in the second half, although she handled the pressure by making the extra pass and setting up teammates.
Andrea Roeder chipped in with five points and had five of Mac-Hi’s 13 steals. Kasey Erm combined four points with five rebounds.
Belen Betancourt and Burchell also had four steals apiece for the Pioneers.
Roeder was a steady hand for Mac-Hi against Umatilla’s defensive trap.
"Andrea is our only ball-handler in the press situations," Pumphrey said. "We can’t take her out of the game. In the fourth, she looked a little tired. She needs to learn to take over the game late and get to the free-throw line."
Mac-Hi played a 1-3-1 zone defense while holding the Vikings to eight points in the first half.
As Umatilla began loading up the post in the second half, the Pioneers moved to a 2-3 zone, which proved less effective. With Burchell on the bench with four fouls, the Vikings ended the third period on a 13-4 run to draw within four points of Mac-Hi.
Kassie Kennedy and Catherine Routson led the Vikings in scoring with 10 points each. Routson scored six of her points in the fourth quarter as Umatilla grabbed the lead.
Roeder hit a 3-pointer with six minutes left in the game, giving Mac-Hi a 28-23 lead, but it was all Vikings after that. The Pioneers failed to score again as Umatilla reeled off 11 unanswered points to win by six.
Mac-Hi stays at home to tip off its Greater Oregon League slate at 6 p.m. Friday against La Grande.
"If we play like we’re capable of playing against La Grande, we should do alright," Pumphrey said.
Umatilla (34) — Mendoza 0 0-0 0, Montez 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 4 2-6 10, Vandever 2 0-0 4, Cranston 2 0-0 4, Bombela 1 0-0 2, Routson 4 2-4 10, Siler 1 2-6 4, Watson 0 0-0 0, Castanon 2 1-6 3. Totals — 14 5-18 34.
Mac-Hi (28) — Roeder 2 0-0 5, K. Erm 1 2-2 4, Burchell 6 2-10 14, Humbert 0 0-0 0, Betancourt 2 0-0 5, Hernandez 0 0-0 0. Totals — 11 4-12 28.
Uma 4 4 13 13 — 34
Mac 5 8 7 8 — 28
3-point goals— Mac 1 (Roeder). Total fouls — Uma 16, Mac 15. Technical fouls — none. Fouled out — none. Rebounds — Uma 28 (Routson 9), Mac 17 (Burchell 7). Turnovers — Uma 18, Mac 21.