COLLEGE PLACE - Walla Walla Valley Academy's Hannah Woolever hit a 15-foot jumper with 4:45 left here Thursday in Southeast 2B girls basketball action.
Woolever's bucket gave the Knights a 29-28 lead over Dayton, but the Bulldogs responded with a 12-4 run the rest of the way to claim their first league win of the season with a 40-33 victory.
"We stayed with it and pulled it out there at the end," Bulldog coach Clayton Strong said. "We hit pressure free throws down the stretch when we had to and just slowly pulled away."
Following a McKayla Bickelhaupt bucket with 2:40 left in the first period, Dayton jumped out to a 9-3 lead. The Knights answered and got it tied on a buzzer-beater trey from Kristianna Buell at 9-9 after one.
Behind four of Nicole Lambert's 11 first-half points and four from Courtney Fuller, the Bulldogs built a 19-15 lead with 48 seconds left in the half. The Knights got an Amber Hellie free throw and a deuce from Emily Field as time expired to send the Bulldogs to intermission up 19-18.
"They got six points off fastbreaks in the first half," WWVA coach Monty Buell said. "They didn't get any (points off fast breaks) in the second half. We can't take a half to make those kinds of adjustments."
The Knights grabbed a 22-21 lead following a Field 3-pointer a minute into the second half.
The Bulldogs answered with their defense, which forced 12 Knight turnovers and did not allow a field goal for the last seven minutes of the third. Dayton took a 24-22 lead to the fourth.
"It's Dayton basketball," coach Buell said. "They play tough, physical defense, and we get banged up. We can't let that take us out of our game, but we did. We kept throwing the ball away and had way too many turnovers."
Field, who led the Knights with 12 points, got WWVA even at 24-24 with a free throw with 6:54 left. Seconds later, Dayton's Malia Frame drained the first two of four consecutive free throws she would convert in the stanza, and Dayton regained the lead at 26-24.
A Fuller steal and coast-to-coast drive jumped the Bulldog lead to 28-24, but Amy Arnzen answered with a three-point play to cut the lead to 28-27 with 5:47 left.
Woolever's bucket gave the Knights their last lead. Frame hit two more free throws and the Bulldogs went back on top at 30-29 with 3:59 left.
Jessica Tate, Frame and Bickelhaupt had Dayton buckets sandwiched around seven forced Knight turnovers as the lead swelled to 36-29 with 1:58 to play.
"We forced the pace and got some turnovers when we had to," Strong said. "And we made just enough buckets to pull this one out."
Dayton hit 4-of-6 free throws the rest of the way to hang on to the win and improve to 1-2 in league.
Arnzen joined Field in double digits for the Knights with 11 points as the Knights dropped to 0-2 in league.
"We had two (Buell's first quarter and Field's in the fourth) lucky 3s that kept us close," coach Buell said. "We need to have better offense than getting some lucky shots. We were 10-of-21 on free throws. We're in the game or winning it if we hit a decent percentage.
"(But overall), I was happy," coach Buell continued. "The girls played hard and it was a real competitive game. At crunch time they hit some free throws. That's basketball. We'll take it and learn from it and try and fix the mistakes."
Lambert finished with 12 points to lead Dayton and Frame added eight plus pulling down a game-high 10 rebounds. The Bulldog defense forced 42 turnovers, but the offense committed 32.
"We'll take it (the win), but we have to cut 30 turnovers down," Strong said. "Our effort on the glass was real good (a 39-28 Dayton rebounding edge). We've got some work to do, but you've got to win an ugly game like that and pull it out at the end."
Liberty Christian visits Dayton Saturday, and Walla Walla hosts Tri-Cities Prep Saturday.
Dayton 40, WWVA 33
DAYTON (40) - Tate 1-2 1-1 3, Fuller 3-4 1-2 7, Miller 0-4 0-0 0, Bickelhaupt 3-13 1-4 7, Lambert 5-10 1-3 12, Smith 1-4 1-5 3, Harting 0-1 0-0 0, Frame 2-6 4-4 8, Phillips 0-0 0-0 0, Ramirez 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 14-45 9-19 40.
WWVA (33) - Woolever 1-4 0-0 2, Arnzen 3-8 3-7 11, Croft 0-0 0-0 0, Buell 1-4 1-2 4, Hellie 0-2 3-6 3, Gregg 0-1 0-0 0, Field 4-9 2-4 12, Thompson 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 9-29 10-21 33.
Dayton 9 10 5 16 - 40
WWVA 9 9 4 11 - 33
3-point goals - Day 1-6 (Fuller 0-1, Bickelhaupt 0-3, Lambert 1-1, Harting 0-1), WWVA 5-10 (Arnzen 2-4, Buell 1-3, Field 2-3). Total fouls - Day 20, WWVA 21. Fouled out - WWVA (Buell) Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Day 39 (Frame 10), WWVA 28 (Field 7). Turnovers - Day 32, WWVA 41. Assists - Day 9 (Fuller 2, Bickelhaupt 2), WWVA 7 (Arnzen 3).