Logan’s Renee Sanders (left) and Melrose’s Schuyler Cochran battle for a rebound.(CNJ staff photo: Rick White)
By John Eisel: CNJ sports writer
TEXICO — A 15-1 run to start the second half led the Melrose Lady Buffaloes to a 64-43 win over Logan in the first round of the 29th annual EPAC girls tournament Tuesday at Texico High School.
Melrose’s 6-foot-1 senior post Audrey Hemminger scored 21 points, all but one in the second half. She also pulled down eight rebounds. Lady Buffalo junior 5-10 post Schuyler Cochran added 19 points, nine rebounds and five steals.
Hemminger and Cochran’s combined 40 points was just about what Melrose (4-7) had been averaging through their first 10 games.
“We played with a lot of intensity,” Melrose coach Jason Lee said. “That was the best effort we put out all year.”
Junior Raynee Rachor of Logan (2-8) led all scorers with 22 points and added five rebounds.
Melrose had a 26-20 lead at halftime, but the Lady Buffaloes’ run to start the second half blew the game open.
They led by as many as 22 points late in the third quarter.
“We executed very well in the half court and came out with a lot of intensity,” Lee said. “Those two things combined gave us the big lead.”
Melrose pushed the ball up court and converted on turnovers, something Lee said was crucial for the Buffaloes offense because they were turning the ball over in their half-court offense.
Hemminger scored 10 points and also had an assist to freshman Janea Eshelman for a 3-pointer during the run.
“They came out in the second half with the intensity and effort,” Logan coach Gary Miller said.
Three of Hemminger’s baskets during the run and one by sophomore Zanessa Dodd came on offensive rebounds.
“We stress that a lot,” Lee said of offensive rebounds. “We have trouble scoring and we have enough size that we stress crashing the boards.”
Lee said “any win is big,” and beating Logan, which Melrose had lost a close game to on Dec. 7, shows how much his team has improved.
“We’re very young and we need confidence and winning breeds confidence,” he said