Camden Barger photo

Grangeville’s Camden Barger drew a foul on this pull-up jump shot during the third quarter as the Bulldogs closed in on Melba last Thursday night, Nov. 12. Melba eventually pulled away and won the season opener 54-36.

GRANGEVILLE — Last spring, Melba bopped the GHS girls during the first round of the 2A state tournament. The new season began last Thursday night, Nov. 12, with the Mustangs in town.

Melba won, 54-36, after trailing early in the second quarter.

Having played the first quarter to a 15-all draw, GHS built a five-point lead, with Bailey Vanderwall (14 points) drawing a foul on a short shot, followed by Macy Smith draining a three-pointer in rapid succession. The Bulldogs got another quick defensive stop, but misfired on two chances to extend the lead.

Melba capitalized with a couple of point-blank baskets followed by a couple of long shots, which added up to a 10-0 run during a span of about two minutes — and a 25-15 Melba lead.

Grangeville closed within three, 30-27, on consecutive hoops by Vanderwall, Zoe Lutz and Camden Barger (12 points) during the first minute of the third quarter. Barger had assists on the baskets by Vanderwall and Lutz, then converted a traditional three-point play after drawing a foul from Melba’s Kendall Clark.

After a Melba turnover, Melba came up with a stop and a score to lead by five. Vanderwall answered with a couple of foul shots after she came down with an offensive rebound and drew Clark’s second in the process. Melba’s transition offense extended the lead back to five, 34-29, then converted a turnover into a second quick layup, prompting a GHS time out with 5:55 left in the quarter.

Melba forced a five-count turnover coming out of that time out. GHS got the ball back, but after a misplay in the half-court, turned it right back over to Melba for a layup.

Barger answered with a couple of foul shots off Clark’s third personal, and Vanderwall pulled GHS back within six, 38-32, before Clark and Melba rattled off the last seven points of the third.

Grangeville led by four points three times during the first quarter, as Barger and Clark went back-and-forth with three-pointers before Vanderwall scored off an inbounds pass.

Kendall Clark and Kate Clark finished with 15 points apiece for Melba; Mustangs guard Hallie Arnold added 10.

Next, Grangeville is scheduled to host Kendrick Thursday night, Nov. 19, then to host Kamiah Tuesday, Nov. 24.

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