WALLA WALLA - Khadidja Toure scored a game-high 28 points Wednesday night to lead visiting Kamiakin to a 55-50 victory over Wa-Hi in a girls high school basketball contest in the Blue Devil gym.
Toure scored 16 points after halftime. She went 6-for-10 from the field in the second half, including two makes from 3-point land on four attempts.
Kamiakin improved its record to 3-4 and dropped Wa-Hi to 3-5. The Blue Devils have lost five of their last six games.
"Everyone's getting healthy and starting to figure each other out," said Kamiakin coach Tammy Hutchison, whose team has been slowed by injuries in the early part of the season.
"We're so close," Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. "We're getting more consistent. We're still inexperienced, but we're eight games in. We can't use that as an excuse anymore."
The Braves led 4-1 after three minutes of play before Wa-Hi went on a 10-0 run. Six-foot-two-inch post Gabby Anderson tallied in the low block, Torri Crawford dropped in a short baseline jumper, and Jami Klicker and Libbie Jimenez stroked back-to-back 3-pointers to establish an 11-4 Blue Devil lead with 1:41 left in the first quarter.
Wa-Hi led 12-8 after one period.
Wa-Hi reclaimed seven-point margins on two occasions in quarter two.
Anderson scored down low off a Klicker assist to make it 19-12 at the 5:56 mark. The twosome duplicated that effort on Wa-Hi's next possession to bring the score to 21-14 with 5:23 left.
Kamiakin ended the quarter with a 7-1 spurt to draw within one, 22-21, at intermission.
The Blue Devils would have enjoyed a larger halftime spread were it not for constant struggles from the free throw line. Wa-Hi sank just 6-of-18 charity tosses in the half, 4-of-12 in the second quarter.
The Braves took advantage of Blue Devil turnovers to forge a seven-point lead, 29-22, in the first two minutes and change of the third quarter. Toure ended the surge with a layin off a Wa-Hi miscue.
A 6-0 Wa-Hi blitz - fueled by Crawford and Jimenez with three points apiece - closed the gap to one, 29-28, with 4:07 to go.
The Blue Devils tied the game at 37-37 on a 3-point play by Anderson with 1:44 on the clock, and took a 39-37 edge on a Crawford layup.
Period three would end in a 40-all stalemate.
Kamiakin opened the final stanza with the first seven points. Toure keyed the barrage with another layin off a turnover and ended it with a 3 from the right wing. She ended up with 10 points in the period.
Wa-Hi got no closer than three points the rest of the way.
"She's my go-to girl," Hutchison said of Toure. "We had the clutch shots at the right time."
Wa-Hi is missing those clutch shots.
"Down the stretch, we're not taking care of the ball in critical situations," Meliah said. "We have to figure out a way to finish games."
Jimenez led the Blue Devils with 15 points. Anderson added 11 and Crawford chipped in with 10 points.
The Blue Devils ended the night with 36 free throws. Only 16 found the mark.
"We left 20 points out there," Meliah said. "This team isn't real confident. That's something we're trying to overcome."
Wa-Hi travels to Wenatchee next week for a two-day classic Dec. 27 and 28.
Kamiakin 55, Wa-Hi 50
KAMIAKIN (55) - C. Nelson 2-3 1-3 5, Beach 0-1 1-2 1, Oord 2-5 3-4 7, S. Toure 3-10 2-4 9, McKinney 0-1 0-0 0, K. Toure 10-20 6-10 28, K. Nelson 1-5 1-2 3, Kurz 0-0 0-0 0, Robertson 0-0 2-2 2, Larson 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 18-46 16-27 55.
WA-HI (50) - Klicker 1-3 1-4 4, Jacobson 0-0 0-0 0, Crawford 3-10 4-9 10, Jimenez 3-8 6-8 15, Christensen 2-2 0-0 4, Greene 1-5 1-4 3, Hamada 1-2 1-4 3, Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Anderson 4-7 3-7 11. Totals 15-37 16-36 50.
Kamiakin 8 13 19 15 - 55
Wa-Hi 12 10 18 10 - 50
3-point goals - Kamiakin 3-9 (K. Toure 2-4, S. Toure 1-3, Oord 0-2), Wa-Hi 4-8 (Jimenez 3-5, Klicker 1-3). Total fouls - Kamiakin 28, Wa-Hi 21. Fouled out - Kamiakin (S. Toure, Larson), Wa-Hi (Hamada, Anderson). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds - Kamiakin 31 (K. Nelson 9), Wa-Hi 50 (Anderson 8). Turnovers - Kamiakin 9, Wa-Hi 14. Assists - Kamiakin 1 (S. Toure), Wa-Hi 8 (Klicker 4).