Walla Walla finds itself in a three-way logjam for second place when it heads for Spokane Wednesday to take on the Sasquatch in a Northwest Athletic Conference Eastern Region women’s basketball game.
The Warriors are deadlocked with Treasure Valley and Columbia Basin with identical 2-1 records, one game behind Wenatchee. The Knights took over sole ownership of the top spot in the region Saturday night with a 71-62 victory over Walla Walla in Dietrich Dome.
Saturday’s loss snapped a 10-game winning streak for the defending East Region champions and left the Warriors with a 13-3 record overall. Wenatchee improved to 15-3.
Warriors coach Bobbi Hazeltine knows her team will have to improve its shooting this week in order to stay in contention. The Warriors made 41 percent of their 3-point attempts in the loss to Wenatchee, but they were just 14-for-57 from 2-point distance and finished at 29 percent overall from the field.
“We missed a lot of easy shots,” Hazeltine said. “And it seemed pretty contagious.
“I thought we did a nice job of posting up, but we didn’t finish — in our own gym. Wenatchee is the favorite to win the league and maybe we preached that too much, but the bottom line is we’ve just got to make shots.”
Freshman post Tabitha Wellsandt was the lone exception as she hit 6-of-10 field-goal tries and led the Warriors in scoring with 15 points. The Warriors’ other post players were a combined 3-for-19 from the floor and totaled seven points.
The Warriors did get 14 points apiece from guards Kayla Green and Marquel Greene. Green was 5-for-14 from the floor, two of them 3-pointers, while Greene came off the bench to drain four 3-point baskets in as many tries.
However, sophomore point guard Kennedy Corrigan had an off night, connecting on just 3-of-20 shots and finishing with eight points.
Wenatchee led 31-22 at the intermission and then scored 15 unanswered points to forge a 46-24 lead with 4:30 remaining in the third quarter. The Warriors were still on the short end, 55-32, at the end of the period, but a 30-point fourth quarter enabled WWCC to make things interesting.
Greene connected twice from downtown and added a layin with 38 seconds to play that narrowed Wenatchee’s lead to 69-59. And Shayna Allert’s long trey cut the lead to seven points, 69-62, 16 seconds later, but that was as close as WWCC would get.
“I knew we wouldn’t quit,” Hazeltine said. “I thought we did a nice job of scrambling the floor with four guards.”
Treasure Farmer led four Wenatchee players in double figures with 14 points. Adriane Horn followed with 13, Karly Malcolm scored 12 and Rebecca Stevenson chipped in with 10 points.
“Wenatchee’s guard are so big and long, and our guards are small,” Hazeltine said. “My guards play so hard and I love them to death, but they are so small.”