Five WWCC women score in double digits as the first-place Warriors hand the Yaks a 102-76 defeat on Wednesday night.
YAKIMA — Cierra Jo McKeown put up a season-high 34 points for Walla Walla Community College, as the first-place Warriors routed Yakima for a 102-76 win in Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball action here on Thursday.
WWCC (24-1 overall, 12-0 in the division) finished with five Warriors scoring in double-digits.
Teresa Acock had 20 points, and Jade Skidmore added 16 points and 14 rebounds, while Taylor Turner and Kaileigh Dietrich-Denton each had 10 points.
The Warriors had a double-digit lead almost all night after running off nine answered points midway through the first quarter to go up 16-4, but struggled to put the game out of reach until the final minutes.
“We had a really good night offensively, but it felt like it was a lot closer than the score might indicate,” Warriors coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. “We couldn’t ever pull our kids.”
“Yakima has some weapons,” she continued, noting Kamri Von Oelhoffen (22 points), Trista Takes Enemy (21 points), Sequoia Wheeler (15 points). “I think those three are the best freshmen in the league. We didn’t have an answer for any of them. We’d get a big lead, but then they’d keep cutting it to about 10. And that was the pattern all night.
“I never felt like we put them away until the last three minutes,” Hazeltine added. “It may look like an easy win, but it was not. Cierra played well, so did Teresa, and Jade had another double-double. We needed that.”
Dietrich-Denton, a native of Moxee, Wash., in Yakima County, turned in a key performance with four rebounds and an assist in 19 minutes off the WWCC bench.
“She was back home and played the best game of the year, I think,” Hazeltine said. “She was huge for us on defense. Everytime they’d make a run, she’d come through with a big rebound or putback for us.”
Already having clinched a spot in the NWAC Championship tournament, with four games left in the regular season and a two-and-a-half game lead over second-place Columbia Basin, the Warrior women next plays at Blue Mountain on Saturday afternoon at 2 p.m.
“It’s the earliest we’ve ever been in,” Hazeltine said. “It’s nice, but we’ve still got to keep our nose to the grind stone.”
Warriors 102, Yaks 76
WALLA WALLA (102) — McKeown 34, Acock 20, Skidmore 16, Turner 10, Dietrich-Denton 10, Hutchison 6, Gunter 4, Peralez 2.
YAKIMA VALLEY (76) — Von Oelhoffen 22, Takes Enemy 21, Wheeler 15, Holt 12, Davis 4, Andrews 2.
3-point goals — Walla Walla 7, Yakima 8. Total fouls — Walla Walla 13, Yakima 15. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — Yakima Valley (Team 2). Rebounds — Walla Walla 31, Yakima 17. Turnovers — Walla Walla 9, Yakima 12. Assists — Walla Walla 12, Yakima 8.