LAKEVILLE — It took Oregon-Davis just over five minutes of game time to establish what team would be hoisting the hardware as 2013 Bi-County champions in girls hoops.
Eight Triton turnovers right out of the gate along with deadeye aim by O-D on the offensive end had the defending champs take a 21-10 lead en route to a very lopsided 80-36 final at LaVille.
A suffocating press by O-D right from the opening whistle forced Triton into corners and double teams, which allowed Jessica Avarone and Alicia McIntosh to drain threes after Triton turnovers. A layup by Haley Collings off another Triton giveaway had the score 8-0, which would actually be the closest Triton would be the rest of the night. Triton would commit 17 turnovers in the game to just seven from the Bobcats.
The start of the contest, along with the defensive tenacity the 1A No. 2 Bobcats offered, had coach Terry Minix more than pleased.
“We came out tonight with a sense of urgency,” Minix said. “We really wanted to get on them early because Triton is a good team. I tried to explain to the girls that it won’t be this way at sectional time. They are a lot better than the way they played tonight. We just jumped on them early. We got them down a little bit and they just weren’t able to come back.”
O-D, which have won back-to-back titles and six of the past seven Bi-County trophies, rode the blistering shooting of Collings, who was 11-for-12 from the field, and Ashley Campbell to the easy win. Collings finished with 25 points and 13 boards along with being named MVP of the tournament. Campbell had 22 points, five rebounds and four assists. Avarone was all over the court for the Bobcats, scoring 14 points, pulling down 11 boards, dishing seven assists and gathering in four steals for good measure.
“Haley has played since the holiday tourney at South Bend Washington, she has played unbelievable,” Minix said of Collings. “It makes us a different team because we don’t have just the big three with Alicia, Ashley and Jessie and everybody can key on them three. Now with a girl like Haley Collings who can get every rebound inside and is not afraid to finish. All in all, it was a great team effort by everybody.”
Triton, which did chip away at the lead in the second quarter to 10 at 35-25 after Kylie Mason hit a three, were overwhelmed out of the gate in the second half.
O-D (16-3) opened the third quarter with an 8-0 run and held Triton to just nine points overall in the second half. The two teams, which played to a 65-55 O-D win on Jan. 2, didn’t resemble the same two squads according to Triton head coach Adam Heckaman.
“They brought their ‘A’ games tonight from right in,” Heckaman said. “We chipped away a little bit from what they did from the beginning when they jumped out on us right away. We got it to 10 and made a few mistakes and it kind of expanded again.
“It just kept snowballing again.”
Triton (13-5) were led by nine points each from Mallorie Jennings and Taylor Hatfield and eight points from Mason.
O-D reached the final with a 66-39 win over John Glenn and 69-42 victory against Culver. Triton made its first-ever Bi-County championship by beating Argos 59-49 and LaVille 56-50. Oregon-Davis have won eight of the last 10 meetings with Triton, and more importantly, have knocked Triton out of the sectional in five of the past six seasons. That result worries Heckaman more than what happened Saturday night.
“Thank goodness it wasn’t sectional,” Heckaman said. “Because there are not a lot of positives you can pull out of that game. It’s one where they wanted it more than we did and it showed. I guess the good thing is hopefully this will sink into the girls and they know that they have a lot of work to do if we want to beat that team if we play them again in sectional.”