Just one of those nights for Wa-Hi girls in district title game

Chiawana races to an early lead and cruises past the Blue Devils for the district championship, 51-32, Friday night.



There were tears in the Tri-Cities Friday night as Wa-Hi's Jill McDaniels watches the final seconds of the Blue Devils' district championship game loss to Chiawana.


Wa-Hi's Jill McDaniels ( front) and teammate Jamie Weisner (No. 14) engage in some arm wrestling for the ball with Chiawana's Shelby Ellsworth (back).The Riverhawks won the game, 51-32, but Wa-Hi advances to the regional tournament and hosts Central Valley Tuesday at 6 p.m.

PASCO - Sometimes you suffer through a night that you just have to forget and move on.

The Wa-Hi girls had that night here Friday in the district championship game against Chiawana.

Hayley Hodgins scored 11 first-quarter points for Chiawana as the Riverhawks raced to a 15-5 advantage after one quarter.

Chiawana, a new high school with no senior class, never looked back.

The Riverhawks ended Wa-Hi's nine-game win streak and claimed their first-ever district championship with the 51-32 win.

The good news for the Blue Devils is that they live to play another day. Wa-Hi opens regional play at the Wa-Hi gym against the Greater Spokane League's No. 3-seeded Central Valley Bears on Tuesday at 6 p.m.

"I told them (the Blue Devils) that we have to look at the big picture," Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. "Besides them (Chiawana) cutting down the nets (as district champions), which is cool, this game really doesn't mean a whole lot. We are still two games away from state. Now we get Tuesday and look to go on Friday. Maybe we get to see them again, and this time it is to go to state."

With Alicia Baker - who held Hodgins scoreless during Wa-Hi's 40-29 regular-season win over the Riverhawks (only one of two defeats for Chiawana this year) - hobbled by an ankle injury suffered in Tuesday's 47-44 win over Wenatchee, Hodgins' first quarter explosion got the Riverhawks rolling, and Hodgins finished with a game-high 19 points.

"Alicia, being a little crippled, hurt tonight," Meliah said. "She's getting better. A couple of days off should help a lot."

A Jill McDaniels trey followed by a Baker bucket produced Wa-Hi's only lead of the night at 5-4 with 3:20 left in the first period.

Hodgins hit a bucket to give the Riverhawks the lead for good and start a 10-0 Chiawana run to close out the first quarter, and Wa-Hi never recovered.

"I was disappointed in our effort," Meliah said. "It wasn't lack of desire. We just had a lot of mental breakdowns, and Chiawana played well."

The rebounding stats present a microcosm of Wa-Hi's night. The Riverhawks won the battle on the glass, 40-22, with 20 of those being off the offensive glass. The Riverhawks converted those 20 offensive boards into 10 second-chance points.

"We pride ourselves on defense and rebounding," Meliah said. "Then we give up 20 (offensive) boards. That goes to show that for whatever reason, tonight was not our night."

The Riverhawks held Wa-Hi to five first-half field goals and expanded the lead to 29-13 at the half.

Wa-Hi's first shot of the second half came off the rim, and Hodgins buried a jumper on the Riverhawks first shot, and so it went.

Jamie Weisner was held in check by Sadie Sparks and a helping Riverhawk defense as Weisner had 10 points before fouling out with 3:48 left.

McDaniels led the Blue Devils with 11.

Rachael Adkins buried a jumper with 35 seconds left to wrap up the Blue Devil scoring, and send Wa-Hi to prepare for Central Valley.

"We had some tears," Meliah said of the loss. "Right now we need to believe in our team and look to each other to pick each other up. We'll go to war on Tuesday again."

WA-HI (32) - Baker 1-6 0-0 2, Weisner 3-10 4-7 10, Adkins 1-1 0-0 2, McDaniels 3-5 3-4 11, Hamada 1-2 0-0 2, Christensen 1-1 0-0 2, Anderson 0-1 0-0 0, Jimenez 1-5 0-0 3. Totals 11-35 7-11 32,

CHIAWANA (51) - Reynolds 2-2 0-0 4, Huisingh 0-1 0-0 0, Sparks 2-8 0-0 4, Ellsworth 4-13 3-6 11, Valdez 3-7 2-2 9, Hodgins 8-13 1-4 19, Rivard 2-12 0-0 4, Kelly 0-0 0-0 0, White 0-0 0-0 0, Loving 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 21-56 6-12 51.

Wa-Hi 5 8 11 8 - 32

Chiawana 15 14 14 8 - 51

3-point goals -Wa-Hi 3-7 (Baker 0-1, McDaniels 2-2, Jimenez 1-4), CHS 3-6 (Huisingh 0-1, Ellsworth 0-1, Valdez 1-2, Hodgins 2-2). Total fouls-Wa-Hi 13, CHS 12. Fouled out-Wa-Hi (Weisner). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-Wa-Hi 22 (McDaniels 5), CHS 40 (Sparks 9). Turnovers-Wa-Hi 18, CHS 9. Assists-Wa-Hi 6 (McDaniels 2), CHS 12 (Sparks 6).


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