Rams get within one, but Wa-Hi girls fight them off for the win

West Valley pulls within one point headed into the fourth quarter, but the Blue Devil seniors celebrate with the 47-39 victory.

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Wa-Hi's Jamie Weisner (14) and Vicki Reardon (32) stumble over a West Valley player en-route to a loose ball during the second-half of their game Tuesday night at Wa-Hi.

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Wa-Hi's Jamie Weisner (No. 14) is flattened to the ground and fouled as three West Valley players reach for the ball during the second half Tuesday night.

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Wa-Hi's Alicia Baker (center) wrestles a jump-ball from West Valley's Haley Curtis (front) while under tight pressure from West Valley's Kaitlyn Curry (No. 20) during their game Tuesday night at Wa-Hi.

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Wa-Hi's Jamie Weisner (14) is flattened to the ground and fouled as three West Valley players reach for the ball on her way to the basket during the second-half of their game Tuesday night at Wa-Hi.

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Wa-Hi's Jamie Weisner (14) battles past a blocking West Valley player en-route to the basket Tuesday night.

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Wa-Hi's Andrea Hamada (30) turns on the speed, dribbling past a West Valley defender.

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Two young boys hide near the top of the bleachers in the Walla Walla High School gym Tuesday night during the girl's basketball game against West Valley. The boys crawled along their bellies between the rows of seats playing a near invisible game while most fans watched the basketball game below.

WALLA WALLA - Senior nights can be special, and perplexing.

Wa-Hi recognized Alicia Baker, Rachael Adkins, Jill McDaniels and Vicki Reardon Tuesday in the regular-season Big Nine Cascade Division girls basketball finale at the Blue Devil gym.

The Blue Devils overcame the perplexing part.

Wa-Hi took a 10-point lead to intermission only to see West Valley narrow the gap to 30-29 after three quarters.

Jamie Weisner and Reardon answered for the Blue Devils. Reardon (with eight points) and Weisner (nine points) combined for all 17 of Wa-Hi's fourth-quarter points and combined to grab seven rebounds in the quarter as the Blue Devils held off the Rams for the 47-39 win.

The victory completes an unblemished second round of division play for Wa-Hi, a perfect 7-0, and avenges an earlier 48-44 loss to West Valley. Wa-Hi completes the regular season with a 10-4 Cascade mark and a 13-7 overall mark.

"It's a tribute to the kids to be able to fight back and answer the run that West Valley put on us," Blue Devil coach Jill Meliah said. "At the beginning of the year, we could've lost that game. Now, we know when we have to step up and make a play."

With McDaniels hitting two treys, Wa-Hi jumped to a 14-4 lead after one period.

The Rams got within 18-13 with 4:50 left in the half, but the Blue Devils, behind a Weisner free throw, a Baker coast-to-coast drive with a steal, a Reardon bucket, and a trey from Libbie Jimenez, ran the lead back to 26-16 at the half.

"We talked about coming out with the same intensity we did Saturday (a 40-29 win over Chiawana)," Meliah said. "The first quarter we did a good job of stopping their transition game, and offensively, we were in sync."

Wa-Hi left the first-half mojo in the locker room as the Blue Devils managed only an Andrea Hamada free throw, a Reardon free throw, and a McDaniels' deuce in the third as the Rams cut the Blue Devil lead to 30-29.

"We weren't communicating the way we know we can," Reardon said. "We had to start talking on D, get back, and know who we have. If we could sharpen up our mental game, then things would start falling offensively."

The Ram zone was effective, until the Blue Devils got the ball inside to Reardon for a bucket and went inside on the next possession as Reardon drew a foul and hit both free throws for a 34-31 lead with 5:29 left.

"Their zone was a little different from what we've seen from some other teams," Reardon said. "At times, we were a little shell-shocked. We're used to spreading the floor and going at it. Something rhythm wise wasn't quite right."

"I think they (Wa-Hi) just like to see me mad once in awhile," Meliah said of the Ram run. "We forgot plays tonight. We talked about moving and attacking their zone and kicking it out, and then out there (on the court), we're in la-la land. It's a combination of being at the end of the season and senior night. We just lost focus, but we were able to find it when we needed it."

At the 3:33 mark, an Alexis Gholston bucket kept the Rams close at 36-35. A Weisner 3, followed by a 3-point Weisner play off a McDaniels feed, and Reardon's put-back of her own miss, and the Blue Devils had control at 44-37 with 45 seconds left.

"We started picking the zone apart," Reardon said. "Then we could start looking at our other options once we had the defense jumbled up."

Weisner's free throw with 13 seconds to play ran the Wa-Hi lead to 47-37. Taylor Herzog capped her game-high 16 point performance with a Ram bucket to run the final to 47-39.

Weisner, with 15 points and 15 rebounds, led the way for Wa-Hi.

Reardon added 13 points and eight boards.

McDaniels added nine points, and Baker held WV's Haley Curtis to 10 points, as Curtis' 20 had paced the Ram win in the previous game.

The Blue Devils, thanks to a 44-38 Chiawana victory over Richland Tuesday, hosts Moses Lake at 6 p.m. Saturday to open district play.

WEST VALLEY (39) - Herzog 7-10 2-3 16, Wineiger 0-1 1-2 1, Curry 0-3 0-0 0, Gholston 1-1 0-0 2, Jaeger 1-3 0-2 2, Curtis 4-15 2-3 10, Roberts 2-4 0-0 4, Erwin 2-8 0-0 4. Totals 17-45 5-10 39.

WA-HI (47) - Baker 1-3 0-0 2, Jacobson 0-0 0-0 0, Weisner 4-12 6-8 15, Adkins 0-1 0-0 0, McDaniels 3-10 1-3 9, Hamada 0-2 1-3 1, Reardon 5-9 3-4 13, Christensen 1-1 0-0 2, Anderson 0-2 0-0 0, Jimenez 2-4 0-0 5. Totals 16-44 11-18 47.

West Valley 4 12 13 10 - 39

Wa-Hi 14 12 4 17 - 47

3-point goals -WV 0-10 (Herzog 0-1, Curry 0-3, Curtis 0-4, Roberts 0-2), Wa-Hi 4-10 (Weisner 1-2, McDaniels 2-6, Jimenez 1-2). Total fouls-WV 15, Wa-Hi 8. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-WV 22 (Curtis 5), Wa-Hi 42 (Weisner 15). Turnovers-WV 10, Wa-Hi 14. Assists-WV 8 (Herzog 3, Curtis 3), Wa-Hi 10 (Baker 4).

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