Walla Walla Community College
Women’s Basketball

Women increase lead in East Region

Devynn Johnson scored 14 of her game-high 22 points in the second half here Wednesday night as Walla Walla pulled away from Yakima for a 78-64 women’s Northwest Athletic Conference women’s basketball victory.

“Devynn played really well for us,” Warriors coach Bobbi Hazeltine said of her 6-foot sophomore post. “We saw a mismatch with her, and in the second half we decided to pound it inside as much as we could. And it proved to be successful.”

The victory was another building block in WWCC’s quest for the Eastern Division championship.

The Warriors improved to 17-4 overall and 8-1 in the division, and they hold a two-game lead over Wenatchee and Columbia Basin for the top spot in the East standings following Wenatchee’s 78-60 victory over Columbia Basin College Wednesday night in Wenatchee.

“It’s nice to have that two-game lead,” Hazeltine said. “But I look at our schedule and it is not very easy. It seems like it happens this way every year.”

The Warriors will entertain Wenatchee Saturday afternoon in the Dietrich Dome with a chance to put some additional distance between themselves and the Panthers.

WWCC defeated Wenatchee 77-61 when the teams met for the first time Jan. 17 in Wenatchee.

“For whatever reason we won big up there, but it won’t be that kind of a game Saturday,” Hazeltine said. “Wenatachee is on a big winning streak, knocking off everybody, and they have all kinds of weapons. All of a sudden this one has become the game of the year Saturday afternoon.”

The Warriors are closing in on a 15th consecutive appearance in the NWAC’s season-ending championship tournament and they’ve already surpassed Hazeltine’s expectations.

“We are known as a team that peaks in January and February when you are supposed to, but I didn’t see this coming,” Hazeltine said. “I thought we would challenge for a spot in the tournament, but I didn’t see us sitting at the top of the league.

“It’s fun, it’s nice. We are deeper than we were last year and getting a different scoring leader almost every night. That’s pretty exciting.”

Freshman point guard Kennedy Corrigan was right behind Johnson on WWCC’s scoring list Wednesday with 19 points, and sophomore transfer Haley Hutchinson came off the bench to score 12 points.

“Kennedy is playing so well for us, it’s tough to take her out of the game,” Hazeltine said of Corrigan. “And Haley (Hutchinson) has had some back issues and we have had to hold her out of practices, but she is so athletic. She came off the bench again and got some big offensive rebounds,”

Tassia Merkle led four Yaks in double figures with 17 points. AJ Yarlott totaled 16 points, Myleah Musgrave contributed 11 and Leilua Losia finished with 10.

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