Walla Walla Community College
Women’s Basketball

WWCC women fall to Elite

YAKIMA — Shoni Schimmel, a veteran of three-plus seasons in the Women’s National Basketball Association, scored 33 points here Sunday and led her Lady Elite team to an 88-76 victory over Walla Walla Community College in the championship game of the Yakima Invitational season-opening women’s basketball tournament.

Schimmel, who grew up on the Umatilla Indian Reservation and prepped at Hermiston and Franklin High School in Portland before being drafted No. 8 overall by the Atlanta Dream in 2014, knocked down 12-of-23 fields goals, including seven 3-pointers, as Lady Elite handed the Warriors their first defeat of the season.

Walla Walla began its season here Friday with an 87-66 victory over Grays Harbor and downed the Valley All-Stars 87-48 in Saturday’s semifinals.

The Lady Elite advanced to the finals with a 90-69 victory over Columbia Basin and a 77-44 defeat of host Yakima.

“I’m really happy with how we competed in this tournament,” WWCC coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. “We are a little short on size and we were short on numbers and competed hard for three days.”

The Warriors entered the tournament with 10 players in uniform. Starting sophomore post Adrianna Peralez and freshman guard McKenzie Gunter, whom Hazeltine regards as her first player off the bench, missed the tournament due to concussions.

And freshman Kaileigh Dietrich-Denton, Peralza’s backup, sat out with pneumonia.

“We sure could have used them, especially Sunday,” Hazeltine said. “Their size got to us and the pace of the game as well. Our kids were exhausted to the point where I had to get them out to give them some rest.”

Hazeltine noted that in addition to Schimmel, the Lady Elite roster featured 6-foot-1 Abby Scott, who played at New Mexico State University last season, and 5-8 Tisha Phillips, an all-Big Sky Conference player out of Eastern Washington University. Scott scored 20 points and collected eight rebounds in Sunday’s title game and Phillips scored 24 points and dished out five assists.

“I don’t know how old all of those girls were, but we have a bunch of 18-year-olds,” Hazeltine said. “They probably had five extra years on us, and physically they are so much more mature. And with their presence out on the floor, they can do things we’ve never faced before.

“But our girls didn’t back down. They were not scared. They embraced the challenge.”

The Warriors jumped out to a 23-19 lead after one quarter. But Lady Elite outscored the Warriors 29-18 in the second period for a 48-41 halftime lead and increased the margin to 75-62 going to the fourth quarter.

“We played so hard in that first quarter,” Hazeltine said. “And (Lady Elite) had been blowing everybody out, so they started playing harder in the second quarter and we had some trouble with it.

“But we regrouped. We were never really out of it until the last few minutes when we decided to press them and they made some easy layups.”

Until then the WWCC defense spent the entire game in a zone.

“They outsized us at every position,” the coach said. “We had watched them against the other teams, and as a coaching staff we agreed that we couldn’t man them even for one possession. Schimmel can do so many things and she would have posted us up all night.

Sophomores Cierra Jo McKeown and Teresa Acock, who had led the Warriors on offense the first two games, did so again Sunday.

McKeown scored 25 points on 10-of-27 shooting from the field and Acock made 9-of-24 shots and finished with 23 points. Both players were 4-for-14 from 3-point distance.

Sophomore point guard Jade Skidmore was also in double figures with 13 points, led the Warriors with three assists and her nine rebounds shared the team lead with McKeown.

Freshman Taylor Turner scored nine points and picked off seven rebounds.

The Warriors broke for Thanksgiving and will return to practice one week from today to begin preparations for their Dec. 1-2 Warriors Classic that will launch the home season in the Dietrich Dome.

Lady Elite 88, Warriors 76

WALLA WALLA (76) — McKeown 10-27 1-1 25, Acock 9-24 1-2 23, Skidmore 6-12 1-1 13, Hutchison 2-4 0-0 4, Turner 3-5 3-5 9, Radford 1-3 0-3 2, Renfro 0-0 0-0 0, Bowen 0-0 0-0. Totals 31-75 6-12 76.

LADY ELITE (88) — Scott 8-12 2-2 20, Strom 1-2 2-2 5, Schimmel 12-23 2-2 33, Yarlott 2-6 0-0 4, Phillips 11-26 2-2 24, Strom 0-5 0-0 0, Bell 0-0 0-0 0, Suppah 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 35-76 8-8 88.

Walla Walla23182114—76

Lady Elite19292713—88

3-point goals — WWCC 8-32 (McKeown 4-14, Acock 4-14, Skidmore 0-3, Hutchison 0-1), Lady Elite 10-31 (Scott 2-6, Strom 1-2, Schimmel 7-16, Yarlott 0-1, Phillips 0-5, Strom 0-3, Suppah 0-1. Total fouls — Lady Elit5e 15, WWCC 7. Fouled out — Lady Elite (Strom). Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Lady Elite 35 (Strom 10), WWCC 33 (McKeown 9, Skidmore 9). Turnovers — WWCC 12, Lady Elite 4. Assists — Lady Elite 21 (Strom 7), WWCC 10 (Skidmore 3).

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