WALLA WALLA - The Weston-McEwen girls crushed Valley Christian, 62-36, but the TigerScots boys lost in a close one against the same Panthers, 48-38, in Wednesday action at the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic basketball tournament at Whitman College's Sherwood Center.
Seventeen steals and three girls in double figures scoring-wise led the TigerScot girls to a nearly 30-point smashing of the Panthers.
The W-M girls advance to a Classic championship game today at 6:30 p.m. against DeSales, a 32-28 winner over Stanfield Wednesday, in the main gym.
Costly turnovers and poor free-throw shooting led to a loss for the W-M boys' team against Valley Christian a semifinal matchup at the Christmas Classic.
W-M boys will play in a third-place game versus Stanfield today at 1:30 p.m. in the main gym.
W-M girls 62, Valley Christian 36
"We've been working on a press and where people are supposed to be," W-M coach Amber Doremus said. "We are putting people in a position to jump into the passing lanes. The girls are keeping their heads up, looking for the steals and playing good team defense."
It also helped that Weston-McEwen outrebounded the Panthers 25-8. TigerScot sophomore post Liliana Ponce had a game-high nine boards.
"Ponce has a nose for the ball," Doremus said. "She got her rebounds. Everyone else boxed out and did their job to allow us to get the rebounding advantage as a team. If everyone on the team boxes out, someone on the team is going to get it. It could be the same person a lot or different people all the time, it just depends on the day."
Ponce was W-M's leading scorer with 18 points, Taryn Coffman added 16 and Morgan Entze contributed ten.
Ponce did the majority of her scoring inside, on offensive rebounds and put-backs. Coffman drove the lane most of the night and executed layups.
"Good for Liliana and Taryn," Doremus said. "When you rebound and put it back in, that is going to get you points. When you drive to the hoop and take an open layup, that is going to get you points."
The TigerScots did have 20 turnovers and shot only 2-of-7 from the free-throw line in a game that was close until the conclusion of the third quarter.
In the first half, Ponce and Coffman had 10 points apiece to pace the TigerScot scoring.
In the third quarter, W-M turned up the defensive pressure and had nine team steals in a 23-6 scoring run that pushed the lead to 30 points.
"I don't think Valley Christian was a bad team at all," Doremus said. "I think they were pretty good. We just came out after our halftime talk and really played good defense, which led to some easy baskets for us."
Valley Christian 48, Weston-McEwen boys 38
W-M was just 7-of-20 from the charity stripe and had four of its 12 turnovers in the final five minutes of the game.
"You're not going to win any games when you miss 13 free throws," W-M coach Brian Pickard said. "Two minutes left in the game at that point, it is a four-point spread. At that point, we've already missed our 13 free throws. Normally, we're a 65-to-75 percent free-throw team. You're not going to beat anybody shooting that percentage (35 percent) from the free-throw line.
"We also had a couple of time where we panicked and let a couple of balls slip out of our hands and get out of bounds," Doremus said. "A couple more bounced off our feet and you can't have that in a close game especially against a good team."
The TigerScots did limit the turnovers for the majority of the game, with only 12 to Valley Christian's 22. Weston-McEwen had seven steals and four blocked shots.
"Defensively, we played some of the best basketball that we've played all season, "Pickard said. "Even on the offensive end, they had a lot of size to matchup with us and we still did some good things on offense."
Dallas Reich and Ron Terjeson scored 13 points apiece in the losing effort. Reich battled foul trouble in the second half while contributing three steals and three rebounds in the game. Terjeson blocked four shots, had two steals and grabbed six boards. Riley Sederburg had a game-high 10 rebounds.
For the Panthers, Kolby Blew canned three from downtown en route to 13 points and Craver Small had 11 points.
The game started out on a 3-pointer from Blew. Zane Chapman drove to the hoop for 2 and assisted on a reverse layup by Ron Terjeson to make it 4-3, TigerScots, with 1:30 having elapsed.
The Panthers then went on a 9-0 run in the next three minutes to take the 12-4 lead in the first quarter. The run was highlighted by a rim rattling dunk on the fastbreak by Craver Small, foul and extra one free throw to complete the three-point play.
It was a six-point deficit at the end of the first quarter, 15-9 Panthers. The TigerScots forced five turnovers in the second period and scored 10 points to keep the halftime score close at 24-19, Valley Christian.
In the third quarter, the TigerScots started to make their move. W-M forced eight turnovers and outscored the Panthers, 10-9.
A four-point lead going into the fourth quarter would get no closer than a two-point advantage for the Panthers early. Reich drove to the hoop early in the fourth to lay it up and make the score 33-31 with 7:30 remaining in the game.
The TigerScots stayed close until the two-minute mark. Eventually, W-M started fouling to send the Panthers to the line and preserve the clock.
The Panthers made 6-of-11 free throws in the final two minutes to seal the victory.
Weston-McEwen girls 62, Valley Christian 36
W-M (62) - Ponce 9 0-1 18, von Borstel 1 0-1 2, Entze 5 0-0 10, Rudolph 2 0-2 4, Coffman 8 0-1 16, Bodmer 2 2-2 6, Thompson 1 0-0 2, Sederburg 0 0-0 0, Christopher 1 0-0 2, Zimmerman 0 0-2 2. Totals - 30 2-7 62.
VC (36) - Lindy Riggan 5 2-2 14, Swank 3 3-6 10, Purvis 1 0-0 2, Heden 2 1-2 5, Cox 1 0-0 2, Lacey Riggan 0 3-4 3, Valenti 0 0-0 0. Totals - 13 9-14 36.
VC 10 11 6 9 - 36
W-M 18 13 23 8 - 62
3-point goals - VC 2 (Lindy Riggan 2). Total fouls - W-M 12, VC 10. Fouled out - none . Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - W-M 25 (Ponce 9), VC 8 (Lindy Riggan 3). Turnovers - VC 22, W-M 20. Assists - W-M 4 (Thompson 2).
Valley Christian boys 48, Weston-McEwen 38
VC (48) - Blew 4 2-4 13, Cox 4 0-0 8, Jarvis 1 0-0 2, Small 3 5-9 11, Piersol 0 2-4 2, Tabbert 2 0-0 4, McConah 2 4-6 8. Totals - 16 13-23 48.
W-M (38) - Chapman 3 0-0 6, Terjeson 4 4-8 12, Sederburg 2 1-3 5, Salter 1 0-4 2, Reich 5 2-2 13, C. Thacker 0 0-2 0. Totals - 15 7-20 38.
VC 15 9 9 15 - 48
W-M 9 10 10 9 - 38
3-point goals - VC 3 (Blew 3), W-M (Reich). Total fouls - W-M 16, VC 15. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Turnovers - VC 22, W-M 12. Assists - VC 5 (Small 2), W-M 2.