ENTERPRISE — The Enterprise girls basketball team was dominant in its final outing before starting Blue Mountain Conference play.
Jada Gray scored a game-high 13 points and also was solid on defense with six steals as the Outlaws controlled Imbler, 53-24, on Wednesday, Dec. 22, its first home contest in three weeks.
“In the first and third quarters, my starters showed up,” head coach Mike Crawford said. “They had good balance. That’s something I expect. I really do think that we’re gaining.”
Gray was one of three players in double figures for Enterprise, with Emily Love adding 12 points — including a game-high eight in the first half — and Rilyn Kirkland netting 11, nine of which came in the second half.
The Outlaws never trailed, and once they pushed the lead to 12-2 on Maci Marr’s layup with 3:21 to play in the opening quarter, never allowed the Panthers back within single digits. Love had all eight of her first-half points during a game-opening 16-2 run, with her jumper and then her layup — the first off a steal and assist from Madi Wigen and the second from Gray — staking the Outlaws to the early 14-point lead.
Gray spent a large chunk of the evening collecting steals at the top of the defense and then taking it the other way for a fast-break layup for herself or for a teammate, but showed some outside touch to open the second quarter, draining a corner 3-pointer for a 23-6 lead, the Outlaws’ largest of the first half.
“I think the confidence is coming together more for her,” Crawford said of Gray.
Imbler found the range from deep as well, with Paiten Braseth and Mikinah Browne hitting back-to-back 3s to trim the margin to 11 before Enterprise settled in for a 28-14 advantage at the break.
“That’s just our second home game,” Crawford said. “The girls were excited. I had a couple girls that couldn’t settle down until we got to the half.”
Kirkland and Gray both heated up in the third, each scoring six in the period, with all of Gray’s coming during a quarter-ending 12-0 run — capped by a steal and layup and, later, a putback — for a 30-point lead after three. The lead reached as much as 35 in the final quarter.
Marr also pitched in on the defensive side with five steals.
The Outlaws continue their homestand Thursday, Dec. 30, when they host Stanfield to begin BMC action.
“I’m excited about it,” Crawford said about the start of BMC play. “I think we have a shot. We haven’t played the teams on the other side of the mountain in two years. Looking at their games, who they are playing, seeing scores, it’s hard to have a perspective. We’re going to compete, and I think we’re going to win a bunch of those games.”