Imbler's Tiffany Rasmussen lulled the Wallowa Cougars to sleep with a soulful, a cappella rendition of the Star Bangled Banner, then hit nothing but high notes from there on as she scored 27 points to lead her Panthers to a 54-36 win over Wallowa in the championship game of the Wallowa Lions Basketball Tournament Saturday night in Wallowa.
The spunky Cougars played the 2A school close for the first quarter and a half, oftentimes taking small leads, but had no answers for the baselines jumpers from the Imbler senior. The 5'8" forward scored 17 points in the first half ennabling her unit to take a 25-17 lead into the locker room at the end of 16 minutes of play.
Quick buckets by Rasmussen and Liz Woody in the first 35 seconds of the second half defused WHS hopes of a third period rally as IHS quickly build an insurmountable lead. Midway through that quarter Imbler led 40-24.
Wallowa all tournament selection Amanda Wilson scored the next six points to pull Wallowa to within 10 with seven minutes to play, but Woody and Rasmussen scored six straight points of their own within the span of one minute and Wallowa's fate was sealed.
Other than Rasmussen the only other double digit scorer in the game was Wilson who scored 10 points.
Imbler displayed a tough brand of defense on the Cougars, often contesting the Wallowa unit from 3-point range. Holli Barton, a second Wallowa all tournament selection who had figured prominently 24-hours earlier in Wallowa's win over Joseph, was held to one 3-point field goal and one free throw.
Wallowa played the tournament without starting center Sarah Bomberger who was out of town on family matters.
Imbler: Rasmussen 13 1-1 27, Woody 4 0-1 8, Clerget 3 0 6, Corell 2 0-1 4, Foster 3 2-4 8, Lowe 0 0 0, Hall 0 1-2 1. Totals 25 (0) 4-9 =54.
Wallowa: Barton (1) 1-2 4, M. Oveson 1 1-2 3, Odegaard 0 0 0, McLain 1 0-3 2, L. Oveson 1 (1) 3-5 8, Goodwin 1 0 2, Guillory 0 7-8 7, Wilson 5 0-3 10, Josi 0 0 0, Deal 0 0 0. Totals 9 (2) 12-23 = 36.