Coming out of tiny Joseph High School, the girls' basketball team is making a case that it's one of the better all-around teams in the state.

The Lady Eagles picked up two more wins at the Riverside Tournament in Boardman, Dec. 14-15. They started the weekend by handing La Pine High School of Class 4A its first loss of the season in a 41-32 decision. A day later, Joseph pounded South Wasco High School, 52-24.

Joseph's record improved to 7-0. In the two games combined, senior forward Megan Yost led with 24 points and 28 rebounds. Junior center Nicke Parks scored 23 and grabbed 21 rebounds. Junior point guard Paige Bailey played a big role, giving out 11 assists and making 12 steals.

Friday, the defense shutdown La Pine in the last quarter and helped the Eagles build some cushioning. They went ahead in the fourth 32-29. La Pine made only one basket in the last eight minutes, Kara Snyder's three-pointer. At the other end of the court, the Eagles pieced together enough offense to give themselves some breathing room. Senior Lena Moro converted a couple of shots and Parks made one, while Yost and Bailey hit their free throws.

During a stretch lasting all four quarters, Bailey missed six consecutive foul shots but she bounced back the next day to bury a couple of three pointers against South Wasco. She finished the game with 10 points. Bailey's three in the second quarter was part of a 14-2 run the Eagles used to take a 22-6 lead at the half.

Joseph hosted Enterprise High School Tuesday, Dec. 18, a game scheduled too late to be included in this edition of the Chieftain.

This weekend, Dec. 21-22, Joseph will host its own tournament. Wallowa High School is invited, along with Elgin and Heppner.

Contact reporter Hector del Castillo at 426-4567, or by e-mail at hdelcastillo@wallowa.com.

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