TACOMA — Walla Walla fell behind by 14 points early in the game and couldn’t quite overcome the deficit as the Warriors suffered a 74-72 loss to Lane in the third-place game at the Pierce Holiday Invitational women’s community college basketball tournament here Sunday.
The Warriors outscored the Titans in each of the final three quarters, pulled even at one point in the second half and trailed by two points and had possession of the ball with less than a minute to play.
“We had a couple of chances at the end and turned the ball over,” WWCC coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. “We finally had to foul them a couple of times and they made three free throws to go up by five points.”
Cierra Joe McKeown, who led all scorers with 27 points, drained a 3-point shot at the buzzer to pull the Warriors back to within two points. McKeown, who also scored 25 points in a 65-59 loss to Clackamas in Saturday’s semifinals, was named to the all-tournament team.
“It’s not often you make the all-tournament team when you don’t place high, but Cierra Jo and two good games back to back,” Hazeltine said.
The Warriors saw their season record slip to 6-2 with Sunday’s loss. Lane, which defeated Columbia Basin 90-80 in the first round before losing to Bellevue 57-44 in the semifinals, improved to 8-1.
“They’re the real deal,” Hazeltine said of the Titans. “They have all the weapons. They are quick, they can shoot and they have a couple of 6-foot-2 posts.”
Three other Warriors scored in double figures Sunday. Jacee Jensen tallied 14 points, Emily Hancock contributed 11 and Kate Ferenz finished with 10.
“We were glad to have the chance to play Lane,” Hazeltine said. “We both came into this tournament undefeated, and we both got beat in the semifinals. They caused us a lot of matchup problems, but we adjusted and after a quarter-and-a-half we got going and played some pretty good ball.”
In semifinal action on Saturday, WWCC jumped to a 15-2 lead after one quarter. Clackamas roared back with a 23-10 third quarter run, but the Warriors rebounded to take a 22-16 fourth quarter advantage and force overtime with the score knotted at 56-56.
The Cougars pulled it out with a 9-3 overtime advantage to take the 65-59 win.
Cierra Jo McKeown lead the Warriors Saturday night. The Touchet High School grad scored 25, grabbed a team high nine rebounds, and dished out six assists.
Jade Skidmore poured in 12, but was the only other Warrior in double digits.
Katie Krammerer led the Cougars with 19, blocked six shots and grabbed eight rebounds.
In the Holiday opener Friday, the Warriors roared to a 23-8 lead after one, and coasted home to defeat Pierce 66-41 and earn a spot in Saturday’s semi final.
Kate Ferenz led the Warriors with 17 points on 7-of-11 shooting from the floor.
Skidmore led all rebounders with 10 for the Warriors. Skidmore also led WWCC to 18 assists on 28 field goals with a team high five.
Bellevue went on to win the tournament, defeating Clackamas 58-43 in the championship game. Peninsula defeated CBC 84-73 in the consolation finals.
Walla Walla goes to a four-team round-robin crossover tournament at Portland Community College.
The Warriors face Lower Columbia Friday at 5 p.m., Bellevue Saturday at noon and finish up vs. host Portland Sunday at 10 a.m.