WALLA WALLA - Consecutive treys by Pendleton's Gabby Heehn and Andrea Hellstrand capped a 9-0 Pendleton run, wiped out a 24-22 Wa-Hi lead to open the fourth quarter, and gave the Buckaroos a 31-24 lead with 3:57 left here Tuesday in non-conference girls basketball action.
Torrie Crawford capped a 10-2 Wa-Hi run with her 17th point on a banked turn-around jumper off an Andrea Hamada feed to give the Blue Devils the lead at 34-33 with 1:30 to play, but the Bucks outscored the Blue Devils 7-0 the rest of the way for a 40-34 win.
"It always hurts to lose," Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. "We were looking to get better from this last weekend (an overtime loss at Hanford and a 39-37 win over Southridge), especially on our press breaker and our defense. We were able to do that."
The Bucks pressed full-court from the get-go and grabbed an 11-8 lead after one.
Wa-Hi went to a zone defense in the second period that slowed the Bucks as Pendleton only scored one field goal in the quarter. However, the Blue Devils only got a bucket from Allie Greene in response, and the Bucks maintained the lead at 18-15 at the half.
With Sydney Christensen patrolling the center of the Blue Devil zone, and coming up with two steals, Wa-Hi limited Pendleton to four points in the third quarter.
The Buck press was a non-issue, as Crawford, in the low post, got feeds from Christensen, Greene and Hamada to score seven in the third, and following Libbie Jimenez's go-ahead bucket, Wa-Hi went to the fourth up 24-22.
"We put in a new press breaker (Monday)," Meliah said. "We did a great job breaking the press. Our guards did a much better job of being patient and keeping their heads up and looking for the post.
"We did some really good things in our zone," Meliah continued. "It (the zone) was something I was committed to doing tonight. There were some positives that came out of that."
The Bucks hit four of their first seven from the floor to open the fourth quarter, including the Heehn and Hellstrand back-to-back 3s. Wa-Hi went 4:30 before Gabby Anderson converted a Jami Klicker feed to cut the Pendleton lead to 31-26 with 3:30 to play.
A free throw from Anderson; a Crawford putback; and a Jimenez bucket all set the stage for Crawford's turn-around to put Wa-Hi up 34-33 at the 1:30 mark, but the Blue Devils turned the ball over on each of their subsequent possessions. Pendleton scored on its next four possessions, including hitting 3-of-4 free throws over the last 20 seconds, to earn the 40-34 win.
"Our youth reared its head again at the end," Meliah said. "Those girls haven't been in those situations before. It's a place to learn from."
Jimenez chipped in seven for Wa-Hi and Anderson grabbed 11 boards. Wa-Hi drops to 3-2 and heads to Richland Friday to open the Columbia Basin Big Nine season with the Bombers, and host Moses Lake Saturday as they play two of the conference pre-season favorites.
"Hopefully, we can take what we learned tonight, and apply it this week end and improve," Meliah said. "They (Richland and Moses Lake) are real athletic. We're going to have our hands full."
Pendleton 40, Wa-Hi 34
PENDLETON (40) - Lemberger 0-1 0-0 0, Hellstrand 2-3 1-2 6, Bonifer 1-5 0-0 3, R. Spencer 0-4 3-6 3, Schumacher-Sweek 0-0 2-2 2, Heehn 2-7 1-1 7, J. Spencer 1-1 0-0 2, Gregerson 2-10 3-3 7, Sitz 4-4 1-2 9, Montez 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 12-35 12-19 40.
WA-HI (34) - Klicker 0-3 0-0 0, Crawford 6-14 5-6 17, Jimenez 2-6 3-4 7, Christensen 0-5 0-2 0, Greene 1-3 0-0 2, Hamada 1-3 0-0 2, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 2-7 2-6 6. Totals 12-41 10-18 34.
Pendleton 11 7 4 18 - 40
Wa-Hi 8 7 9 10 - 34
3-point goals - PHS 4-14 (Lemberger 0-1, Hellstrand 1-2, Bonifer 1-4, Schumacher-Sweet 0-1, Heehn 2-4, Gregerson 0-2), Wa-Hi 0-6 (Klicker 0-3, Jimenez 0-2, Hamada 0-1). Total fouls- PHS 16, Wa-Hi 17. Fouled out- none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds- PHS 27 (Heehn 6), Wa-Hi 35 (Anderson 11). Turnovers- PHS 16, Wa-Hi 17. Assists- PHS 7 (R. Spencer 5), Wa-Hi 7 (Hamada 3).