Blue Devil girls can't handle Riverhawks

Fourth-ranked Chiawana hands Wa-Hi a 67-25 defeat in the Big Nine girls District tournament.

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Wa-Hi's Andrea Hamada drives around Chiawana defender Shelby Ellsworth. Hamada had five points on the night, including one 3, in Wa-Hi's 67-25 loss.

PASCO - Wa-Hi ran out of gas and ran into the state's fourth-ranked Chiawana Riverhawks in the second round of the Columbia Basin Big Nine 4A girls basketball district tournament in Pasco Saturday.

The Blue Devils have been to Yakima, Wenatchee twice, and Pasco twice in the last two weeks and were coming off an emotional Friday effort that saw them win at Wenatchee, 46-39.

And then there were the Riverhawks. Chiawana shot 49 percent from the floor, made 10 from behind the arc, and coasted home with a 67-25 win.

"I thought we battled," Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. "We were able to spread our offense, and our two-three zone did some good things. We didn't have a lot of time to prepare, so we went with our Wenatchee plan. They (the Riverhawks) are a different team with more weapons."

The win allows Chiawana to host Friday's district championship game against Richland, a 65-53 winner over Moses Lake Saturday.

Hayley Hodgins set the tone for the Riverhawks 30 seconds in as she drained a trey. Hodgins lead the way with 19 points, including three-of-three from behind the arc.

The Blue Devils responded as freshman Kiana Molitor hit two free throws, and 75 seconds later fellow freshman Jaiden Hodnefield beat the shot-clock buzzer with a 3, and the Blue Devils enjoyed their only lead of the night at 5-3 with 5:45 left in the first.

Sadie Sparks tied it for Chiawana, and the Riverhawks put on their track shoes to cap the first with a 14-2 run.

Bianca Gonzales took a skip pass over the Wa-Hi zone to drain a trey to end the run and send the Riverhawks to a 19-7 lead after the first period.

"They were catching us on a screen in the back," Meliah said of the skip pass. "And they have good shooters."

The Riverhawks lived up to their ranking, their regular season CBBN 4A title, and their 19-2 record with a 16-2 second-quarter to go to intermission in control at 35-9.

"In the first half, we shot 14 percent," Meliah said. "We got home at midnight (from Wenatchee) and it was an emotional win, and I think we are (the road warriors). You could tell our legs just weren't there. If we hit a couple more of those (first-half) shots, the score doesn't look as bad."

Wa-Hi came out in the third, and behind an old-fashion 3-point play from Molitor, a trey and a deuce from Andrea Hamada, went on an 8-3 run to narrow the gap to 38-17 with 6:06 left in the third.

The cream does rise to the top. Hodgins drained her final trey of the game to cap a 10-2 Riverhawk run and expand the lead to 48-19 with 3:15 to go in the period.

Molitor led the Blue Devils with nine points, including a perfect 5-of-5 from the charity stripe. Maddie Jacobson pulled down a game-high six rebounds for the Blue Devils.

"She (Molitor) was a little frustrated up here last week (a Riverhawk win in the regular-season finale)," Meliah said. "She's the type of kid who takes it upon herself to make it better. She made better choices, pushed the ball down the floor, and helped us against pressure. She had a great game."

Wa-Hi gets to play another week as the Blue Devils drop into a loser-out battle Friday at Moses Lake.

"We get to play another week," Meliah said. "I'm happy for the girls. I'm glad I have the opportunity to coach them for another week."

Chiawana 67, Wa-Hi 25

WA-HI (25) - Klicker 0-1 2-2 2, Jacobson 1-5 0-1 2, Crawford 1-3 0-0 2, Jimenez 0-2 0-0 0, Christensen 0-1 0-0 0, Greene 0-3 1-2 1, Hamada 2-4 0-0 5, Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Molitor 2-8 5-5 9, Hodnefield 1-8 0-0 3, Anderson 0-4 1-2 1. Totals 7-40 9-12 25.

CHIAWANA (67) - Reynolds 2-3 0-0 4, B. Gonzalez 1-5 0-0 3, J. Gonzalez 1-3 0-0 3, D. Hodgins 3-3 0-0 7, Sparks 4-5 0-0 8, English 0-2 0-0 0, Ellsworth 0-1 0-0 0, Loving 0-2 0-0 0, Valdez 3-8 2-2 10, H. Hodgins 7-13 3-3 19, Rivard 5-8 0-0 13. Totals 26-53 5-5 67.

Wa-Hi 7 2 12 4 - 25

Chiawana 19 16 18 14 - 67

3-point goals - Wa-Hi 2-13 (Hamada 1-2, Klicker 0-1, Jacobson 0-1, Jimenez 0-2, Hodnefield 1-7), CHS 10-28 (B. Gonzalez 1-5, J. Gonzalez 1-3, D. Hodgins 1-1, English 0-1, Ellsworth 0-1). Total fouls - Wa-Hi 7, CHS 12. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Wa-Hi 34 (Jacobson 6), CHS 28 (Ellsworth 5). Turnovers - Wa-Hi 27, CHS 10. Assists - Wa-Hi 5 (Molitor 2), CHS 18 (Ellsworth 6).

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