WALLA WALLA — Eisenhower’s 5-foot-10 senior post Jessica Bush completed a three-point play with 3:34 left in the game, helping the Cadets bounce back from a 23-20 halftime deficit to lead 54-38 over Wa-Hi here Wednesday in girls Big Nine Cascade Division basketball action.
If you’re counting, that is a 16-point Blue Devil deficit with only 214 seconds left.
But that didn’t deter Wa-Hi. Jamie Weisner led a furious Blue Devil comeback that fell just short as the Cadets hit 3-of-4 free throws in the last 14 seconds to hang on for a 59-57 victory.
Weisner scored on a putback and was fouled with 3:17 to play. Weisner missed the free throw, got her own rebound and put it back and was fouled.
Weisner made this free throw, and Wa-Hi went to full-court pressure. Weisner got a steal in backcourt and scored to cut the Ike lead to 54-45 with 3:07 to play. Seven points and 10 seconds later, Wa-Hi was back the game.
Ike’s Kristina Van Alstine hit two free throws to give the Cadets a 56-45 lead with 2:46 to play.
Weisner, over the next two Blue Devil possessions, hit four consecutive free throws to cut the lead to 56-49 with 1:56 remaining.
Ike missed the front end of a 1-and-1.
Weisner followed up two Blue Devil misses to narrow the gap to 56-51 with a minute left.
The Cadets failed to convert on two free throw attempts with 51.7 seconds on the clock.
Wa-Hi’s Alica Baker scored with 35 ticks left and it was 56-53.
Blue Devil Jill McDaniels then made a steal and dished to Baker, who finished and was fouled. Baker missed the free throw to tie, but Weisner grabbed the offensive rebound and drew a foul going back up.
Weisner drained both free throws, giving her seven in a row since her miss at the 3:17 mark, and the Blue Devils led 57-56 with 27.9 remaining.
Ike’s Jennifer McKenna drained a pair of free throws for a 58-57 Cadet lead with 13.9 still showing.
Weisner went coast-to-coast, drove the lane in traffic, and scored what would have given the Blue Devils a 59-58 lead, but Weisner was called for an offensive charge as Van Alstine stood her ground, and the basket was waived off.
Brittany Gaut hit 1-of-2 free throws after Wa-Hi was forced to foul with five ticks left, and the Blue Devils could not get off a desperation shot as time ran out.
Weisner finished with a game-high 25 points, including 17 in the fourth period, and a game-high 10 rebounds.
"Jamie has done that the last couple of games," Blue Devil coach Jill Meliah said. "She kind of waits until the fourth quarter and then she takes over."
Wa-Hi got eight points from Weisner and seven from McDaniels in the first 16 minutes and took a 23-20 lead to intermission.
The Cadets pounded the ball inside to Bush — who got into early foul trouble and played only sparingly in the first half — in the third period. The Blue Devils had no answer as Bush scored 13 of her team-leading 20 points in the third and the Cadets took a 38-34 lead to the fourth quarter.
"We’ve been having trouble with (stopping) big girls," Meliah said. "We’ve got to find an answer."
Bush scored to open the fourth and Wa-Hi went to a zone to try and stop Bush. Sydnee Franck, Gaut and Jennifer McKenna responded by hitting consecutive 3s for a 49-36 Cadet lead two minutes into the fourth.
McDaniels finished with 10 points for Wa-Hi. Baker chipped in with nine and Vicki Reardon added seven, but Wa-Hi couldn’t overcome poor shooting and the turnover bug.
The Blue Devils converted 18-of-32 free throws, went 1-of-11 from behind the arc, and had 26 turnovers.
Wa-Hi dropped its fourth in a row, and are 2-2 in division play with a road trip to Richland looming Friday.
"As a team, we’re kind of in a funk," Meliah said. "We haven’t been able to climb out. We need to do some soul searching and figure out how we right this ship and get it back on track. This one hurt us tonight, but if we can get a win this weekend, we’ll be back in the thick of things."
EISENHOWER (59) — Gaut 5-13 4-6 15, Abrams 0-0 0-0 0, Franck 2-9 1-4 6, Kinney 0-1 0-0 0, Van Alstine 3-5 3-4 9, McKenna 2-4 2-3 8, Avila 0-0 1-2 1, Campbell 0-2 0-0 0, Bush 7-12 6-8 20. Totals 19-46 17-27 59.
WA-HI (57) — Baker 4-7 1-3 9, Jacobson 1-3 0-0 2, Weisner 8-12 9-13 25, Adkins 0-0 0-0 0, McDaniels 2-11 5-8 10, Hamada 2-4 0-0 4, Reardon 2-4 3-7 7, Christensen 0-2 0-1 0, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 19-43 18-32 57.
Eisenhower 9 11 18 21 — 59
Wa-Hi 14 9 11 23 — 57
3-point goals —Ike 4-14 (Gaut 1-5, Franck 1-3, Kinney 0-1, Van Alstine 0-1, McKenna 2-4), Wa-Hi 1-11 (Baker 0-1, Weisner 0-2, McDaniels 1-8). Total fouls—Ike 27, Wa-Hi 20. Fouled out—Ike (Van Alstine, Bush), Wa-Hi (Weisner). Technical fouls—none. Rebounds—Ike 27 (Van Alstine 5), Wa-Hi 35 (Weisner 10). Turnovers—Ike 17, Wa-Hi 26. Assists—Ike 10 (Van Alstine 2, McKenna 2, Gaut 2, Kinney 2), Wa-Hi 10 (Baker 4, McDaniels 4).