WWCC women knock off Yakima Valley

Tai Jensen's 22 points lead WWCC to a 69-47 win over the defending NWAACC champions.

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WALLA WALLA - Sophomore post Tai Jensen recorded a double-double - with game highs of 22 points and 10 rebounds - as Walla Walla Community College stormed its way to a 69-47 victory over defending NWAACC champion Yakima Valley in an Eastern Region women's basketball game Wednesday night in the Dietrich Dome.

Both teams are now 7-2 in league play and tied for second place, one game behind top-ranked and East-leading Columbia Basin. The Warriors, No. 3 in the latest NWAACC poll, improved to 16-5 overall while fourth-ranked YVC slipped to 17-5.

"This is the first time all year that we have played with passion and emotion," WWCC coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. "We're always so business-like. I asked them (before the game) to play with emotion. We played with emotion, passion, and energy. We had fun out there."

Especially at the defensive end of the court. Walla Walla limited Yakima to just 18 percent shooting (6-of-34) in the first half and jumped out to a 25-10 lead. It went into the halftime break with an 11-point cushion, 30-19.

Jensen tallied 14 points in the opening session. She made 4-of-7 attempts from the field and drained six free throws in as many tries.

Starters Hailey Felgenhauer and Janae Klarich, along with reserve Alex Pfefferle, teamed up for 26 of the Warriors' 39 points in the second half. All three players ended up in double figures with 16, 13, and 12 points, respectively.

"Offensively, Tai and Hailey were so good," Hazeltine said. "Janae had the best game of her career."

WWCC led by as many as 26 points, 67-41, in the second half.

Yakima Valley ended up shooting just 23 percent (15-of-65) for the game. Two of its stars, guards Brittney Newcomb and Simone Jordan, were a combined 4-of-26 from the field. Newcomb was 2-of-9, 0-for-2 from 3-point distance, and Jordan was 2-of-17. Hazeltine credited the defensive efforts of Leslie Stillar and Sienna Edmunson for those shooting woes.

"Leslie's job was to limit Newcomb's 3-point attempts. That's all we wanted her to do," Hazeltine said. "Sienna had one job: To stop Jordan and make her take the outside shot.

"That was the best team defense I've seen in a long time," Hazeltine said. "It was the best help defense I've ever seen. We made them take shots out of their comfort zone. It was all about our defense."

The Warriors play at Wenatchee Valley on Saturday.

WWCC 69, Yakima Valley 47

YV (47) - Newcomb 2-9 4-4 8, A. Gonzales 1-1 0-0 2, Brewster 0-2 0-0 0, Cox 1-5 4-4 6, K. Gonzales 2-6 2-2 6, Weaver 1-3 0-0 2, Lekson 3-10 4-5 10, Ferguson 0-3 0-0 0, Jordan 2-17 0-2 5, Smythe 1-1 0-0 2, Zapien 2-8 2-4 6. Totals 15-65 16-21 47.

WWCC (69) - Seitz 0-1 0-0 0, Klarich 5-8 2-2 13, Hawkins 0-0 1-3 1, Stillar 1-6 0-2 3, Pfefferle 5-9 1-2 12, Humphries 1-4 0-0 2, Felgenhauer 5-9 6-6 16, Edmunson 0-1 0-0 0, McDonald 0-0 0-0 0, Tynan 0-0 0-0 0, Jensen 7-11 8-8 22, Anderson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 24-49 18-23 69.

Halftime - WWCC 30-19. 3-point goals - YV 1-12 (Jordan 1-4, Weaver 0-1, Newcomb 0-2, K. Gonzales 0-2, Lekson 0-3), WWCC 3-10 (Klarich 1-2, Stillar 1-3, Pfefferle 1-4, Felgenhauer 0-1). Total fouls-YV 19, WWCC 16. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-YV (Newcomb). Rebounds- YV 34 (Brewster 5), WWCC 51 (Jensen 10). Turnovers-YV 13, WWCC 25. Assists- YV 3 (Newcomb, K. Gonzales, Jordan), WWCC 12 (Klarich 4).

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