Blue Devil girls survive slow third quarter, fend off Braves

Wa-Hi's girls score just four points in the third period, but hold on for the 53-42 victory over Kamiakin.

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Wa-Hi's Alicia Baker (at left) skirts around Kamiakin's Courtney Nelson (at right) as Baker comes up with a steal during the second half of the game.

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Wa-Hi's Andrea Hamada (at left) works to create space for herself between tight pressure from Kamiakin's Madi Meyer (No. 5) and Krysta Beach (at right) during the first half of the Blue Devils' game against the Braves Friday night.

WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi survived a four-point third quarter to open Cascade Division play with a victory.

The Blue Devils saw their 15-point halftime lead melt to a 36-29 lead after three quarters as Kamiakin went on a 12-4 run after intermission.

Wa-Hi recovered to stretch the lead to a final of 53-42 and hold off the Braves.

"I was really proud of the girls," Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. "Even though we struggled through the third quarter, when it counted they came through with some big shots and some big rebounds. Down the stretch, when they (the Braves) were trying to put a lot of pressure on us, we were able to take care of the ball, make the open pass, and get the easy bucket."

The Braves came out blazing as Jori Skorpik drained a trey 15 seconds in and Briannan Brannan hit a deuce for a 5-0 Brave lead with 48 seconds gone.

Jill McDaniels drained a 3 to get the Blue Devils on the board with 6:52 left in the quarter.

Following a Brannan bucket to give the Braves their last lead of the night at 7-5, Alicia Baker tied it for Wa-Hi with 2:59 left in the quarter.

Jamie Weisner grabbed a rebound and went coast-to-coast as Wa-Hi grabbed the lead for good at 9-7 with 2:12 left.

A Gabby Anderson bucket and a Weisner put-back sent the Blue Devils to a 13-7 lead after one period.

Maddie Jacobson and Weisner scored five each and McDaniels added seven as Wa-Hi hit 7-of-13 from the floor in the second period and went to intermission up 32-17.

Weisner had 11 points, and McDaniels had 10, to lead the first-half charge.

"I got into my (scoring) groove finally after a couple of games," McDaniels said of the first half. "Everybody was kind of flying around and everything fell into place. Everybody walked upstairs kind of laughing."

"We held them to two offensive rebounds (in the first half)," Meliah said. "That’s a huge correlation between being up 15 points and only allowing one shot."

McDaniels got Wa-Hi’s first bucket of the third period with 4:30 left in the quarter. Baker got the only other Wa-Hi bucket with eight seconds left, but the Blue Devils hung onto the lead and went to the fourth quarter up 36-29.

"We came out kind of flat and only had four points," McDaniels said. "She (Meliah) was a little frustrated, but then we picked it back up."

The Blue Devils held the Braves to 5-of-13 shooting and outboarded the Braves 15-9 in the period to hold the lead.

"Coming out in the third quarter, defensively, we played OK," Meliah said. "We kind of sat back on our heels, and they took advantage, and we couldn’t get anything to drop."

Khadidja Toure hit two free throws for the Braves with 4:48 left to get the Braves within 40-38.

Weisner and McDaniels answered. Weisner hit a bucket to run the lead back to 42-38 and McDaniels drained a trey to jump the lead back to seven at 45-38 with 2:58 left.

"They were coming back," McDaniels said. "That (5-0 run) got us going."

"We needed to pick it up," Weisner said. "I knew we had it."

Weisner iced it with four consecutive free throws and a bucket following a Vicki Reardon driving lay-in off a McDaniels feed, and Reardon’s missed free throw, to run the final to 53-42.

"I just play the game how it comes," Weisner said of her four straight free throws down the stretch. "I wasn’t worried."

Weisner scored 19 and led Wa-Hi to a 48-25 rebounding edge with 15 rebounds.

McDaniels finished with nine second-half points to share game-high honors with 19.

"Jamie is going to do what Jamie does," Meliah said. "Jill was huge for us tonight. I’ve been waiting for her break-out game. Hopefully, she can carry that into tomorrow and the rest of the season."

Wa-Hi, 1-0 in division and 3-1 overall, traveled to Eastmont Saturday.

"Everybody’s pretty happy," McDaniels said. "This game will help take us into tomorrow."

KAMIAKIN (42) — Meyer 2-9 0-0 4, Brannan 2-2 0-0 4, Nelson 3-8 0-0 7, Beach 0-0 0-0 0, Skorpik 4-9 0-0 9, Toure 3-10 4-8 11, Feser 2-4 1-2 5, Larson 0-5 2-2 2. Totals 16-47 7-12 42.

WA-HI (53) — Baker 3-8 0-0 6, Jacobson 2-8 0-0 5, Weisner 7-14 5-6 19, Adkins 0-0 0-0 0, McDaniels 7-13 3-5 19, Hamada 0-1 0-0 0, Reardon 1-5 0-5 2, Christensen 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 21-52 8-16 53.

Kamiakin 7 10 12 13 — 42

Wa-Hi 13 19 4 17 — 53

3-point goals —KaHS 3-13 (Meyer 0-4, Nelson 1-1, Skorpik 1-5, Toure 1-3), Wa-Hi 3-9 (Baker 0-1, Jacobson 1-2, Weisner 0-1, McDaniels 2-5). Total fouls—KaHS 19, Wa-Hi 13. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none. Rebounds—KaHS 25 (Nelson 7), Wa-Hi 48 (Weisner 15). Turnovers—KaHS 18, Wa-Hi 18. Assists—KaHS 10 (Skorpik 3), Wa-Hi 10 (Weisner 4).

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