Walla Walla Community College’s women continued their brilliant season on Wednesday, cruising their way to a 70-54 win over Wenatchee Valley.
“Neither of us have played a lot of league games yet,” Warriors coach Bobby Hazeltine said. “But we are the two sitting at the top of the league, so it was a really big win for us.”
The Warriors improve to 14-1 overall, and 3-0 in NWAC East play, while the Knights fall to 10-6 and 1-2, respectively.
Walla Walla made use of its passing and shooting advantages to jump out to a quick lead before Wenatchee came thundering back with physical post play and a full-court press to disorient the Warriors’ offense in the second period.
Though the Warriors finished the first stanza up by nine, the Knights’ physical presence and refusal to allow the Warriors’ shooters to find their spots paid dividends.
Wenatchee Valley whittled away at the Warriors’ lead, trimming it to just three by halftime.
With their post scorers fully accounted for, though, the Warriors turned to their guards, and one of them in particular answered the call.
“Sailor Liefke took it upon herself to put the team on her back in the second half,” Hazeltine said. “There was a stretch where she scored almost all of our points. She’s really hard to guard, and when she gets under control, she’s really good.”
Liefke was the cornerstone for the Warriors in every aspect for the night, leading the team in points, rebounds, assists, steals and minutes played.
Hazeltine wasn’t so quick to ascribe the night’s glory to a single player, though.
“I thought DeeAnn White played really well off the bench tonight,” she noted. “And Dakota Patchen hit a big 3 to finish off the game. She can shoot, and she gives us that big outside threat.”
With the win, the Warriors move to 14-1 on the season and remain perfect in conference play.
“I knew we had a chance to be decent,” Hazeltine said, “but we’ve played some good teams so far and beaten them. It’s still early, though, and funny things happen when you start out hot.
“We’ve been fortunate to have been injury-free to this point, and our players are buying into everything we’re doing,” she said. “We have great kids across the court, so we feel very fortunate to have this team.”
Liefke led WWCC with 19 points, and teammate Marissa Cortes tacked on another 11.
Liefke and Jessica Cheney shared the team lead in rebounds, each grabbing seven boards.