Walla Walla Community College
Women’s Basketball

Women take league opener

In retrospect, Bobbi Hazeltine’s decision to call timeout early in the fourth quarter Saturday afternoon in the Dietrich Dome looked like pure genius.

WWCC’s Tabitha Wellsandt takes a hard foul on the arm from TVCC’s Gentry Oldham in the second half of Saturday’s game.

But in the aftermath of Walla Walla’s 65-59 victory over Treasure Valley in the Northwest Athletic Conference Eastern Region women’s basketball opener for both schools, the Warriors coach passed the credit on to her post players’ smarts and her guards’ clutch shooting.

“I don’t think the timeout is what made the difference,” Hazeltine said. “It was more a matter of our post players posting up a little bit better.

“Treasure Valley was switching off on every one of our screens,” she added. “But when our post players post up, they can’t do that. And Kayla Green hit some big baskets for us.”

After leading by six points at halftime only to fall behind by five late in the third quarter, the Warriors found themselves in a 40-40 deadlock when Hazeltine called her timeout in the first minute of the fourth period.

Green, a sophomore guard who hadn’t scored since getting to the rim for a layup 18 seconds into the game, broke the tie with a 3-pointer at the 8:55 mark. After Treasure Valley’s Riley Helmick answered with a 15-footer, Green stroked another trey with 17:41 on the clock for a 46-42 Warriors lead.

Forty-seven seconds later, Green connected again from downtown and suddenly WWCC was on top 49-42, it’s biggest advantage of the game.

Makayla Stockett drained a pair of free throws for Treasure Valley to temporarily stop the bleeding. But then it was Kennedy Corrigan’s turn to connect from downtown for WWCC, followed by Cheyan James’ rebound basket and a 54-44 Walla Walla lead with 3:32 on the clock.

The Chukars’ Gentry Oldham drove to her right and scored a layup to cut the lead back to single digits. But Green responded with her fourth 3-pointer of the quarter and the Warriors led 57-46 with 2:58 to play and Walla Walla was in position to work the clock.

The Warriors weren’t entirely successful as Treasure Valley outscored WWCC 13-8 the rest of the way. But the Chukars never got closer than five points, and four free throws by Corrigan and two by Tabitha Wellsandt in the final minute sealed the victory.

“This was a big win for us, a huge win,” Hazeltine said, noting that her team lost to Treasure Valley 62-58 in overtime when the teams met Nov. 21 in the semifinals of the Yakima Invitational.

“This is the most physical team we will see,” Hazeltine added. “I thought our post players made great strides tonight. Treasure Valley dominated our post players the first time we played, but not tonight.”

Six-foot freshman forward Tabitha Wellsandt scored 10 points and grabbed a game-high eight rebounds for WWCC and another 6-0 freshman forward, Cheyan James, came off the bench for eight points and six rebounds. Treasure Valley won the rebounding battle 42-39, led by Stephanie Keele’s six rebounds.

Green finished with 15 points to lead all scorers and Corrigan was in double figures with 14 points to go with three assists. Oldham scored 14 points and Kylie Murphy and Kayla Haley finished with 10 points each for the Chukars.

Freshman guard Jacee Jensen also played a pivotal role in Saturday’s victory.

Jensen hit a 3-point basket and then assisted James on the first of back-to-back layins as WWCC scored the final six points of the first half for a 28-22 lead. And after Treasure Valley had rallied for a 39-34 lead late in the third period, it was Jensen’s 3-point basket that sparked Walla Walla to a 40-39 edge going into the fourth quarter.

Saturday’s game also marked the Warriors’ first meaningful game without scoring leader Kate Ferenz, who suffered a knee injury one week ago in a practice session. Hazeltine learned Saturday that her 5-10 freshman 3-point specialist will be lost for the season.

“She’s done,” Hazeltine said, shaking her head. “It’s an ACL and possibly a torn meniscus as well. They won’t know until they go in there.

“She has a doctor’s appointment Monday when they will schedule the surgery. It’s a big loss for us, a big loss.”

The Warriors, who improved to 12-2 for the season, travel to Yakima Wednesday and come home to host Wenatchee Saturday in a pair of NWAC East games.


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