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NWAC HEADLINES

Women's Basketball Sweet Sixteen Recaps

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WENATCHEE VALLEY 71, CLACKAMAS 46 STATS | PHOTOS

Ashlynn Burgess scored 16 points, and Cariann Kunkel and Ashley Peralta added 13 apiece as Wenatchee Valley advanced in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 71-46 win over Clackamas Saturday at Everett Community College.

Wenatchee Valley, the second seed out of the East, improves to 24-5 on the season and will face Peninsula Sunday at 7 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup. Clackamas, the third seed out of the South, finishes its season at 15-11.

CJ Buckley scored with 5:36 left in the first quarter to give Clackamas an 8-6 lead. The Cougars didn’t score again until 7:08 remained in the second quarter, and by then Wenatchee Valley led 22-10. The Knights led 27-11 before the Cougars cut the lead to 30-19 at halftime.

The Knights opened the third quarter on a 9-2 run for a 39-21 lead and steadily built on that edge for most of the period. After three, the Knights led 54-29.

Kunkel added nine rebounds for the Knights, Peralta had seven boards, and Kiara Steen had six assists. Rachel Odima scored six points and had eight rebounds for Wenatchee Valley.

Clackamas struggled shooting all night. The Cougars were 17 of 63 from the field for 27 percent. From 3-point range, Clackamas failed to make a basket in 15 tries. And from the free-throw line, the Cougars made just 12 of 25 for 48 percent.

Clackamas was led in scoring by Buckley with 18 points. She also added seven rebounds. Paige Downer scored 11 points for the Cougars, and Landy Williams grabbed 11 rebounds.

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PENINSULA 53, HIGHLINE 40 STATS | PHOTOS

Sunshine Vicente scored 15 points and Kuutuuq Danner added 13 as Peninsula advanced in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament with a 53-40 win over cold-shooting Highline Saturday at Everett Community College.

The Pirates, 19-8 and the top seed out of the North Region, will play either Wenatchee Valley or Clackamas in a quarterfinal matchup Sunday at 7 p.m. Highline, the West Region’s fourth seed, finishes the season 12-14.

Kameron Bowen and Vicente had 10 and eight rebounds, respectively, for Peninsula.

Kanani Kremers scored 12 points to lead Highline, but the Thunderbirds suffered through a miserable shooting night. They didn’t score in the game until 2:22 remained in the first period. After one quarter, they trailed 16-2. It was 23-9 at half, and Peninsula built on its lead with an 18-7 third-quarter advantage.

The Thunderbirds made just 13 of 66 field goals for 19.7 percent and only five of 26 3-point tries for 19.2 percent.

Still, they cut a 22-point fourth-quarter deficit to nine, 49-40, with 36 seconds left before the Pirates made four free throws in the final minute to complete the scoring.

LOWER COLUMBIA 68, SKAGIT VALLEY 52 STATS | PHOTOS

Kenya Lorton and Emily Packham combined for 37 points as Lower Columbia broke open a tight game and defeated Skagit Valley 68-52 Saturday in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Everett Community College.

Lower Columbia, winners of eight straight, improved to 21-9 and will face Lane Sunday at 5 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup. Skagit Valley, which won on the final day of the regular season to reach the tournament, ended its season with a record of 14-14.

Lower Columbia held a narrow 30-27 lead at halftime but quickly extended that edge with stingy defense and efficient offense in the third quarter. At the end of the third quarter, Lower Columbia led 55-39, outscoring the Cardinals 25-12. Skagit Valley cut the lead to 14 points late in the game, but Lower Columbia’s lead was insurmountable.

Lorton led the way with 21 points and Packham had 16. Lorton also had 12 rebounds and Jerri Maluyo dished out 11 assists for the Red Devils. Adding 10 points for Lower Columbia was Madeline Jacobson.

Nani Garner led Skagit Valley with 14 points and Samantha Cox added 11.

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LANE 81, WALLA WALLA 73 STATS | PHOTOS

Kylie Guelsdorf scored 27 points and dished out nine assists and two other Lane players scored in double figures as the Titans defeated the defending NWAC champion Walla Walla Warriors 81-73 in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Saturday at Everett Community College.

Emma Jones came off the bench to score 21 points and grab eight rebounds, and Kalina Rojas scored 17 points and had 10 rebounds for the Titans, who improved to 27-3 overall.

Lane will meet Lower Columbia or Skagit Valley Sunday at 5 p.m. in a quarterfinal matchup. Walla Walla finished 20-10.

There were 12 ties and 13 lead changes in the game, which was a rematch of a 2018 quarterfinal won by Walla Walla. Lane had defeated the Warriors earlier this season in a tournament.

After Walla Walla jumped out to a 6-0 lead, Lane used its inside game to battle back for a 19-18 first-quarter lead. The game was tied at half at 38.

The Titans used a late third-quarter run to forge a 62-55 lead after three, and the teams battled in a tight fourth quarter. Lane put the game away by making six of six free throws down the stretch.

Lane outscored Walla Walla 40-22 in the paint.

Walla Walla was led by the 21 points of McKenzie Gunter. She also had seven assists. Three other Warriors scored in double figures: Holly Golenor with 15, Sailor Liefke with 14 and Jessica Cheney with 12. Golenor also had nine rebounds.

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UMPQUA 68, NORTH IDAHO 62 STATS | PHOTOS

Darian Mitchell scored 26 points and made numerous key baskets in the second half as Umpqua defeated North Idaho 68-62 Saturday in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Everett Community College.

The Riverhawks led by 10 at halftime, 36-26, but the Cardinals rallied to take a 51-50 lead in the first 19 seconds of the fourth quarter on a 3-point goal by Keara Simpson. It was NIC’s first lead since 3-2 after another Simpson 3-pointer.

Tied at 55, Umpqua ran off six straight points to take a 61-55 lead. The Cardinals closed to within two at 64-62, but Umpqua salted the game away with free throws in the final minute.

Umpqua, 26-4, will face Grays Harbor Sunday at 3 p.m. in a quarterfinal game. North Idaho finishes the season with a 20-9 record.

Taylor Strickland added 18 points for Umpqua and Celia Gonzalez came off the bench to score 11. Mitchell grabbed 16 rebounds, Grace Campbell had 15 and Lexi Woodard had 12.

Alivia Williams led North Idaho with 20 points, Heidi Sellman added 15 and Simpson had 10. Simpson also had nine rebounds, Sellman eight and Williams seven.

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GRAYS HARBOR 76, WHATCOM 65 STATS | PHOTOS

Charleea Armstrong scored 23 points and grabbed 10 rebounds and led a fourth-quarter charge as Grays Harbor won its first-ever NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament game, 76-65 over Whatcom Saturday at Everett Community College.

The Chokers were previously 0-8 in six tournament appearances before capturing the win, their 16th on the season against 11 losses. Whatcom, which has now 10 straight NWAC Tournament games, finishes the season 17-10.

Grays Harbor will meet either North Idaho or Umpqua Sunday at 3 p.m. in the second quarterfinal.

Armstrong was joined in double figures in points by Sandin Kidder with 20 points (also eight rebounds) and Isabel Hernandez with 10 (and eight rebounds). The Chokers made only one 3-point goal in the game despite scoring 76 points.

Grays Harbor jumped out to 17-9 lead and settled for a 17-12 edge after one quarter. Whatcom bounced back and tied the game at 19 when Gabrielle Edison scored with 7:46 left in the half. Two Orcas free throws, also by Edison, gave Whatcom its first lead of the game at 32-30 with 13.7 seconds before half. That was the halftime score.

Both teams struggled from beyond the arc in the first half as Whatcom made three of 19 for 16 percent and Grays Harbor connected on one of nine for 11 percent.

The teams battled evenly for most of the second half with Whatcom taking a 47-46 lead into the fourth quarter. But behind Armstrong, Grays Harbor went on a 9-0 run to take the lead for good. The Chokers outscored the Orcas 30-18 in the fourth quarter.

Leading the way for Whatcom was Edison with 15 points, Elisa Kooiman with 14 and Allison Hadaway with 12.

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BIG BEND 89, MT. HOOD 53 STATS | PHOTOS

Leah Dougherty, Miranda Johnson, Hannah Wilson and Kelsey Sorenson combined for 72 points as Big Bend erased an early deficit and rolled past Mt.  Hood 89-53 in Game 2 of the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The Vikings, who advanced to the Final Four last year, won their 10th straight game and improved to 26-4. They will meet Centralia Sunday at 1 p.m. in the first quarterfinal. Mt.  Hood lost its third straight game and finishes the season 20-10.

Johnson led the way with 24 points for Big Bend, Dougherty added 23, Wilson 15 and Sorenson 10. Wilson also had 12 rebounds, and Johnson and Sorenson had seven and six assists, respectively. Mt. Hood was led by Rachel Watson with 12 points and 11 rebounds.

Mt. Hood led 13-6 at the 4:35 mark of the first quarter after Tasha Beckett made one of two free throws. It would be six minutes and 11 seconds before the Saints would score again. That basket came from Kassidy Ellett at the 8:24 mark of the second quarter, but by then Big Bend had run off 20 straight points.

Overall, the Vikings went on a 47-20 run to close out the first half with a 53-33 lead. Abby Broadbent put an exclamation point on the half by burying a 3-pointer from the right wing as time expired. The Vikings led 80-40 after three quarters, and their biggest lead in the game was 89-44 late in the fourth quarter.

Dougherty and Johnson combined for 33 first-half points, and the Vikings made 59 percent of their field goals. They also were 13 of 13 from the free-throw line in the opening half and finished 19 of 21 from the free-throw line.

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CENTRALIA 58, OLYMPIC 39 STATS | PHOTOS

Allani Talapu scored 13 points and Caitlin Yenne added 10 as Centralia pulled away from Olympic for a 58-39 win Saturday in Game 1 of the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament at Everett Community College.

The Trailblazers, 15-14, will play either Big Bend or Mt. Hood Sunday at 1 p.m. in the quarterfinals. Olympic ended its season at 11-18.

Centralia had defeated Olympic 74-32 on Dec. 9 at Centralia, but this one had a much different look from the start. The Trailblazers led only 23-18 at halftime before exploding for 18 third-quarter points to just nine for the Rangers. Yenne scored all of her points in the second half as Centralia gradually increased its lead. The Trailblazers outscored the Rangers 25-21 in the second half.

Olympic turned the ball over 21 times against Centralia’s trapping zone defense. The Rangers also made only four of 19 shots from beyond the 3-point arc.

Danielle Monzon led the Rangers with 12 points and Brittni Blake had 10 rebounds.


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