Corvallis High struggled with Lebanon’s pressure in the opening minutes Friday night but then settled into its offense.
But the Warriors turned up their defense again after a close first half and never let up.
Lebanon forced 14 second-half turnovers by the visiting Spartans and sped away to a 55-36 win in a Mid-Willamette Conference girls basketball game.
The Warriors (13-3, 8-1) trailed 22-18 at halftime but used a 20-7 third quarter sparked by junior guard Mary Workman to take control.
Corvallis (9-7, 6-3) had three turnovers in the first 75 seconds of the third and eight total in the period.
Workman scored 12 points — including two 3-pointers — in the first 3:23 of the third and Lebanon quickly had a six-point lead. Workman’s second 3 made it 32-26 Warriors.
She had a layin, a long two-pointer and two free throws in addition to her two long balls.
“She’s a great leader,” Lebanon coach Mardy Benedict said of Workman. “We’ve got a great core group and everybody’s on board to help each other.”
Benedict reminded his team at halftime that it was in a tight game but hadn’t made many shots. That’s where Workman came through.
“We weren’t really hitting shots and I knew I needed to gain my confidence back to get us up in the second half,” Workman said.
Lebanon added a quick 6-0 run late in the quarter on a Morgan Hopkins layin, a Kylie Steiner jumper and two Workman free throws.
The Warriors led by nine after three. The Spartans got within seven before Lebanon ran off nine straight points. Maddy Romeo’s 3-pointer with 3:27 left made it 49-33 and essentially put the game out of reach for Corvallis with the way Lebanon was playing defense.
“They ramped up. They’re a phenomenal defensive team. They pressure the ball. They have good help-side defense,” Spartans coach Dan Miller said.
Corvallis had five turnovers in the first quarter, most of those in the first few minutes, and no turnovers in the second after settling into the game. But the Spartans couldn’t handle that same pressure after halftime.
Miller said he talked to his team about not dribbling against the pressure. But he said the pressure forces you to dribble, a credit to the effort Lebanon was making.
“We got out it and couldn’t right the ship in the second half the way we did in the first half,” he said. “You play these elite teams and one slip and it gets away from you pretty quick.”
Corvallis finished with 19 turnovers and Lebanon 12.
Workman shared game-high scoring honors with teammate Elli Croco with 16 apiece. Croco had 13 in the first half, with eight coming in the final four minutes before halftime. Hopkins added 11 points.
Jordan Taylor and Sidney Williams had eight points each for Corvallis, which had won five of its previous six games.
The Spartans had five 3-pointers from five different players in the first half but couldn’t get any to fall in the second.
“We wanted to focus on being very strong defensively,” Workman said. “We knew that they were going to come out with a lot of power and we had to get out on their shooters and stay strong inside.”
Lebanon avenged a two-point loss at Corvallis in the conference opener on Dec. 11 in a game Anna Dazey won with a short jumper at the buzzer. The Warriors’ only other defeats this season have come against out-of-state teams.
Lebanon remains tied atop the conference standings with Silverton, a team the Warriors defeated 44-32 at home on Jan. 4. They meet again Feb. 5 at Silverton.
Friday, after Lebanon jumped out to a 10-5 lead, Corvallis went on a 12-0 run that covered five-plus minutes between the end of the first quarter and the first few minutes of the second. Williams, Dazey and Ruby Krebs had 3-pointers in that stretch.
The Spartans got a Taylor 3-pointer and a Maranda Tucker baseline jumper in the closing minutes of the first half to hold onto the lead.
The Warriors were scheduled to play at Dallas on Tuesday, Jan. 29. They are then off for a week before traveling to play at Silverton on Tuesday, Feb. 5.