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NORTH BEND — The search continues for a first Midwestern League win for North Bend’s girls basketball team. The Bulldogs came up short against visiting Springfield 49-41 on Tuesday.

“We’re getting better as a team,” North Bend senior Aby Holling said. “We’re right there.”

North Bend struggled with its shooting, which kept the Bulldogs from coming back after Springfield took a 35-26 lead to the fourth period.

“We’d have chances to close, and every time we had a turnover or they’d get an offensive rebound and put-back,” North Bend coach Mike Forrester said. “It’s those kind of things.”

North Bend had just 11 turnovers the first three periods, but eight in the fourth.

That and North Bend’s inability to put together any scoring runs during the game were enough to keep the Millers safely in front.

The Bulldogs did threaten to rally, but only after the Millers had gone in front 42-30.

Megan Proett scored while being fouled on a drive to the hoop and then hit a 3-pointer after North Bend rebounded her missed free throw, cutting the lead to 42-35. But that marked the only time in the second half that North Bend had consecutive baskets. It also only happened twice in the first half, including when Proett scored the last basket of the first Period and Hannah Lillebo the first of the second to tie the game at 12 (the game’s only tie).

If the Bulldogs could have put together a scoring spree, they could have made it a close contest.

Holling’s 3-pointer cut Springfield’s lead to 46-40 with 1:40 to go, but North Bend only had one more point.

Springfield, meanwhile, did its part to deny a comeback by repeatedly making foul shots. The Millers made five of their six free throws in the first half, and by the end of the game had made more free throws (18) than North Bend attempted (17). The Bulldogs barely shot better than 50 percent from the line and only 30 percent (14-for-46) from the field for the game.

North Bend’s need to rally in the second half stemmed from the team’s effort in the first half, Forrester said.

“I felt in the first half, we didn’t compete,” he said.

North Bend often was beaten to loose balls. One example Forrester noted came on the final play of the half, when the Millers missed a shot, two North Bend players failed to grab the rebound and Erica Bartlow scored on a put-back at the buzzer.

The Bulldogs were better in the second half, but Springfield still finished with a 35-29 rebounding edge.

North Bend did do a better job handling Springfield’s press than the Bulldogs did against some teams earlier in the league season. And the Bulldogs also were strong on defense, forcing 23 turnovers. Proett and Holling combined for five steals.

Holling hit her only three 3-point attempts and led North Bend with 13 points. Proett and Adrianna Frank had seven points each and Frank also had seven rebounds.

Riyen Kauffman had 11 points and Natalie Rowson had 10 for the Millers, who improved to 1-3 in league (North Bend is 0-5).

The Bulldogs next chance for a league win comes Friday when the Bulldogs visit Eagle Point, also winless in league. North Bend is home Saturday for the annual Civil War doubleheader with Marshfield.

PACIFIC 52, GLIDE 24: The combined Pacific-Powers girls basketball team beat the Wildcats in a nonleague game at Umpqua Valley Christian High School on Tuesday.

“It was a good game after a slow start,” said Bob Lemerande, the coach of the Cruisin’ Pirates. “Our pressure gave them problems.”

Pacific limited the Wildcats to six or fewer points in every period but the second and led comfortably the entire second half.

Madi Hall had 13 points for the Cruisin’ Pirates. Leah Sanders added nine, Trinidy Blanton eight and Wiley Lang seven.

Kylie Rubrecht had six points for Glide.

Pacific returns to Skyline League play with a game at home against Glendale on Friday.

Sports Editor John Gunther can be reached at 541-269-1222, ext. 241, or by email at john.gunther@theworldlink.com. Follow him on Twitter: @jguntherworld.

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