WWCC women blister Big Bend, 83-58

Kati Isham and Nancy Johnson score 21 points apiece to lead the Warriors past Big Bend Saturday night.

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WALLA WALLA — Like Batman and Robin in their fictional battles against Gotham City crime, Walla Walla Community College’s inside-outside duo of Kati Isham and Nancy Johnson proved to be too dynamic for visiting Big Bend Saturday night in the Dietrich Dome.

Isham and Johnson tallied 21 points apiece as the Warriors strengthened their hold on second place in the NWAACC Eastern Region with an 83-58 vanquishing of the Vikings.

Johnson also grabbed a game-high 14 rebounds as WWCC — ranked second in the latest NWAACC poll — improved to 6-1 in league, 17-1 overall, and opened up a two-game cushion over both Columbia Basin and Treasure Valley. It trails first-place Yakima Valley by one game.

Walla Walla has road games at CBC Wednesday and Treasure Valley Saturday to kick off the second round of league action.

Big Bend dropped to 3-4 and 10-9.

"Nancy played as well as she’s played all year," WWCC coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. "Kati shot it well."

Kayla Hutcheson gave the Warriors a 9-3 lead in the early stages of half one with her only basket of the game.

After a Big Bend rally knotted the score at 11-11 with 13:56 remaining in the period, WWCC took command with a 9-0 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes. Isham ended the surge with a driving bucket at the 9:26 mark.

Walla Walla’s first double-digit lead — 34-24 — was realized with 1:52 left in the half on a Morgon VanderEsch lay-in.

Isham drilled a 3 from the left corner with 1:26 to go to make it 37-24.

Cierra Silverthorn was as good as gold on a try from outside the arc just 4.1 seconds before the halftime buzzer to stake the Warriors to a 40-25 lead at intermission.

The Vikings shot just 29 percent in the first half — 8-of-28 overall and 4-for-15 from 3-point range.

"Our defense in the first half was really good," Hazeltine said. "I’m happy with our defense and our play."

Especially the defense Isham and Hutcheson played against Big Bend guard Dana Bates. The NWAACC’s sixth-best scorer — who went into play averaging almost 18 points per game — was held to eight points and was only 3-of-14 from the field.

WWCC continued to build on its advantage throughout the second half. The final margin of victory proved to be the Warriors biggest of the night. It came to fruition on two Shelbi Isham free throws with 48.7 seconds on the clock.

Layne Tucker had six of the Warriors’ 18 assists in the game.

"Our game plan was to get it inside," Hazeltine said. "Layne is a great passer. She knows how to find Nancy."

BIG BEND (58) — Parker 5-9 4-6 17, Bohnet 0-1 0-0 0, McGowan 0-2 0-0 0, Hirz 1-4 0-0 2, Anderson 1-6 0-0 2, Whitted 0-2 0-0 0, Canfield 3-9 4-5 13, Schwulst 3-9 1-2 9, Nordby 1-3 4-4 7, 3-14 1-2 8, Hengst 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-59 14-19 58.

WWCC (83) — Dreadfulwater 1-3 0-0 3, Kerbs 1-1 0-0 2, Wolff 2-3 4-4 9, S. Isham 1-2 1-3 3, VanderEsch 3-4 0-0 8, Tucker 1-6 0-0 3, K. Isham 7-15 3-6 21, Johnson 8-19 5-5 21, Hutcheson 1-5 1-2 3, Pickering 0-0 0-0 0, Silverthorn 2-2 0-0 6, Berghammer 2-3 0-0 4. Totals 29-63 14-20 83.

Halftime score — WWCC 40, Big Bend 25. 3-point goals — Big Bend 10-34 (Parker 3-5, Canfield 3-7, Schwulst 2-8, Nordby 1-3, Bates 1-6, McGowan 0-1, Anderson 0-1, Hirz 0-3), WWCC 11-19 (K Isham 4-6, Silverthorn 2-2, VanderEsch 2-2, Wolff 1-2, Dreadfulwater 1-3, Tucker 1-4). Total fouls — Big Bend 20, WWCC 16. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds—Big Bend 39 (Bates 11), WWCC 48 (Johnson 14). Turnovers—Big Bend 15, WWCC 9. Assists—Big Bend 8 (Parker 2, Nordby 2), WWCC 18 (Tucker 6).

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