Blue Devil girls down Panthers

Mikayla Ferenz scores 17 and Wenatchee runs cold in the fourth quarter as Wa-Hi hangs on to win, 47-38.

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WALLA WALLA - In a battle for second place here Saturday in girls Columbia Basin Big Nine girls basketball action, Wa-Hi scored three triples, the only treys of the game, in the fourth quarter and pulled out a 47-38 win over Wenatchee.

The win improves the Blue Devils to 8-2 and drops the Panthers to 6-3 with two league games left for Wa-Hi.

"We've been in a downward spiral since Chiawana (a 63-39 Wa-Hi loss)," freshman guard Mikayla Ferenz said. "We wanted to come out and play a complete game. We got psyched in the locker room."

It wasn't easy, as the Panthers' Kara Rockstad went the length of the court to beat the buzzer at the end of the first and give Wenatchee an 8-7 lead.

The Panthers went on a 8-4 run for a 16-11 lead with 3:02 left in the half, then Torri Crawford hit a putback for the Blue Devils and two possessions later drew a foul going to the hoop.

Panther coach Robin Kansky protested and was hit with a technical. Crawford hit her two free throws, Mikayla Ferenz hit the two technical free throws and Wa-Hi led 18-16 with 1:02 left in the half.

Mikayla Ferenz added a spinning left-handed layin and Wa-Hi went to intermission up 20-16.

Crawford's nine led the Blue Devils in the half, but Wa-Hi only shot 4-of-28 from the field.

"I was proud of the girls as we only shot 14 percent in the first half, but battled through it," Blue Devil coach Jill Meliah. "That (poor shooting) is going to happen on a Saturday night after a tough road win (70-57 at Davis Friday). We were able to battle through it and hit some shots in the second half."

"Torri (Crawford) told us to keep shooting," Mikayla Ferenz said. "And that they (the shots) would start to fall."

Following a Michaela George deuce, the Panthers pulled within 20-19 with a minute gone in the third.

Kate Ferenz came off the Wa-Hi bench and scored six points over the next two minutes, and Wa-Hi pulled ahead 26-19. Andrea Hamada added a Blue Devil bucket as Wa-Hi culminated an 8-0 run and took a 28-19 lead with 4:30 left in the third.

The Panthers answered with a 10-4 run to narrow the Wa-Hi lead to 32-29 after three.

"We let them back in," Meliah said. "I love these girls, but they like to make things interesting. We needed to settle down and limit our dumb turnovers."

"We knew we had to get stops," Mikayla Ferenz said of the start of the fourth. "If we get defensive stops, it leads to our offense."

The Blue Devil defense blanked the Panthers for two minutes and Jaiden Hodnefield entered for the Blue Devils. Wa-Hi ran an out-of-bounds play for Hodnefield who got space and drained the first trey of the night and Wa-Hi led 35-29 with 5:55 left.

"It's great to see Jaiden hit some shots," Meliah said. "She's been struggling with her shot. Tonight, she stepped up and hit a super-important 3 ball."

Mikayla Ferenz added a bucket off a Maddy Sirmon feed for a 39-29 Wa-Hi lead with 5 minutes left.

Following two George free throws , Mikayla Ferenz answered with a drive down the lane for a 39-29 Blue Devil lead.

"My teammates spread the floor perfectly," Mikayla Ferenz said. "It opened it up for the drive."

"We've been harping on Mikayla to try to get to the basket," Meliah said. "She's started to do that the last couple of nights. She hit some very important shots (tonight)."

Mikayla Ferenz drained a trey, Hodnefield scored a deuce, and Kiana Molitor capped the night with Wa-Hi's third trey of the quarter as Wa-Hi went up 47-33 with 1:04 left to play.

The Panthers only answer was the 6-foot-1 George as she scored all nine of the Panthers fourth quarter points on her way to a game-high 21.

Mikayla Ferenz led the Blue Devils with 17 and added six assists. Sirmon led Wa-Hi to a 49-34 rebounding edge with a game-high 13 boards.

"If we can finish first or second, it will really help us (first round bye in the district playoffs)," Meliah said. "We plowed through (tonight). We need to keep pushing."

On Friday in Yakima, the Blue Devils used a 25-point fourth period to seal a 70-57 win over Davis.

Sirmon led the way with a double-double, 14 points and 10 rebounds. Mikayla Ferenz led the scorers with 17, and Libbie Jimenez drained two treys and finished with 10 points.

Wa-Hi hosts Eisenhower Tuesday in senior-night and concludes the regular season Saturday when Chiawana visits.

Wa-Hi 70, Davis 57

WA-HI (70) - Greene 3-5 2-3 8, Crawford 4-10 1-3 9, Molitor 3-9 0-0 6, Deopker 0-1 0-0 0, M. Ferenz 5-16 6-9 17, Heiser 0-0 0-0 0, Jimenez 4-4 0-1 10, Sirmon 5-7 4-4 14, K. Ferenz 1-4 2-3 4, Hamada 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 26-59 15-23 70.

DAVIS (57) - Juarez 3-8 1-2 9, Perez 3-13 4-7 12, Salazar 0-4 0-0 0, Alvarado 0-3 0-0 0, Gratton 1-2 0-0 2, Ceja 6-13 2-3 15, Fowler 3-11 3-6 10, Morales 1-7 6-8 8, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 17-61 17-27 57.

Wa-Hi 19 9 17 25 - 70

Davis 12 14 14 17 - 57

3-point goals - Wa-Hi 3-6 (M. Ferenz 1-2, Jimenez 2-2, Hamada 0-2), Davis 6-16 (Juarez 2-4, Perez 2-4, Salazar 0-1, Alvarado 0-2, Gratton 0-1, Ceja 1-2, Fowler 1-2). Total fouls - Davis 20, Wa-Hi 16. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Wa-Hi 45 (Sirmon 10), Davis 42 (Morales 4). Assists - Wa-Hi 19 (M. Ferenz 6), Davis 13 (Juarez 4, Perez 4). Turnovers - Wa-Hi 16, Davis 20.

Wa-Hi 47, Wenatchee 38

WENATCHEE (38) - Kansky 0-2 1-3 1, Parker 0-5 1-3 1, Rockstad 1-5 0-0 2, Miller 0-1 0-2 0, Stone 0-2 1-2 1, Schroeder 0-0 0-0 0, Buterbaugh 1-5 0-0 2, Holzerland 1-8 1-1 3, George 7-15 7-9 21, Sealby 3-5 1-3 7, Chandler 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 13-49 12-23 38.

WA-HI (47) - Greene 0-2 0-0 0, Crawford 3-4 3-3 9, Molitor 1-2 0-0 3, Deopker 0-2 1-3 1, M. Ferenz 6-13 4-4 17, Hodnefield 2-3 0-0 5, Jimenez 0-4 0-0 0, Sirmon 0-8 2-4 2, K. Ferenz 2-9 2-3 6, Hamada 2-5 0-0 4. Totals 16-52 12-17 47.

Wenatchee 8 8 13 9 - 38

Wa-Hi 7 13 12 15 - 47

3-point goals - Wen 0-6 (Parker 0-2, Buterbaugh 0-3, Holzerland 0-1), Wa-Hi 3-14 (Molitor 1-1, M. Ferenz 1-2, Hodnefield 1-2, Jimenez 0-3, Sirmon 0-3, K. Ferenz 0-1, Hamada 0-2 ). Total fouls - Wen 15, Wa-Hi 20. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - Wen (bench). Rebounds - Wen 34 (George 7), Wa-Hi 49 (Sirmon 13). Turnovers - Wen 17, Wa-Hi 21 . Assists - Wen 6 (Rockstad 2), Wa-Hi 9 (M. Ferenz 6 ).

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