Blue Devils break Bengals' home winning streak

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LEWISTON — Two free throws and some key 3-pointers down the stretch sank a 30-game home winning streak Wednesday night.

With a one-point lead and three seconds left in Wa-Hi’s girls basketball game at Lewiston, Kate Ferenz took to the free-throw line after a last-ditch foul by the Bengals. She made both tosses to seal a 37-34 non-conference victory and hand the Bengals (3-2) their first losing streak in two years.

Not a bad opening win.

“Lewiston has an outstanding program,” Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said of the Bengals, who have won two consecutive Idaho Class 5A state championships. “The thing I was most proud of is that the girls fought through a lot of adversity all night. We played most of the game without a point guard and all of the girls stepped up and helped out with the team.”

Both point guards Mikayla Ferenz and Kiana Molitor fouled out of the contest.

“It was one of those hard-luck nights, especially for Mikayla, and Kiana too,” Meliah said. “For whatever reason it wasn’t happening for her (Ferenz).

“With only eight players we have to play the kids even when they are in foul trouble a little bit,” Meliah said. “They have to get smarter about that and I know that they are going to do that.”

The Blue Devils (1-0) built an 18-13 lead by halftime, but managed just two points in the third quarter and trailed 25-20 going into the final frame.

That was when Madi Doepker and Jaiden Hodnefield stepped up to make some key buckets to pull the Blue Devils back into the game, Meliah said.

“The girls handled the pressure and took care of the ball in the last couple of minutes,” Meliah said.

Doepker led the Blue Devils with 12 points on 5-of-9 shooting from the floor and a 2-of-3 performance at the free-throw line.

Hodnefield scored six points on two 3-pointers.

Post Torri Crawford scored seven points on 3-of-4 shooting from the field and a free throw.

Wa-Hi shot well as a team, hitting 52 percent of their shots on the night, but just barely managed the victory thanks to 25 turnovers.

“I think it was a combination of things,” Meliah said of her team’s turnover struggles. “(Being the) first game, we were excited and nervous, especially in the first half, before we calmed down in the second half. But they put a lot of pressure on us, as well.”

The Blue Devils host Davis Friday at 7:30 p.m.

“We found some things to work on but it was a good win,” Meliah said.

Wa-Hi 37, Lewiston 34

WA-HI (37) — K. Ferenz 0-0 2-2 2, Doepker 5-9 2-3 12, Sirmon 1-2 2-2 4, M. Ferenz 2-3 0-0 5, Kiana Molitor 0-0 0-0 0, Crawford 3-4 1-1 7, Greene 0-2 1-1 1, Hodnefield 2-5 0-3 6. Totals 13-25 8-12 37.

LEWISTON (34) — Hastings 1-4 0-0 2, White 0-1 0-0 0, Wells 1-4 0-0 2, Hobart 0-0 0-0 0, E. Schlander 4-11 0-0 9, Teichmer 0-4 2-2 2, K. Schlander 0-0 0-2 0, L. Wilson 2-5 1-2 6, K. Wilson 2-13 8-10 13. Totals 10-42 11-16 34.

Wa-Hi 10 8 2 17 — 37

Lewiston 6 7 12 9 — 34

3-pointers—Wa-Hi 3-6 (M. Ferenz 1-1, Hodnefield 2-5), Lew 3-13 (Wells 0-1, E. Schlander 1-1, Teichmer 0-4, L. Wilson 1-3, K. Wilson 1-4). Total fouls— Wa-Hi 16, Lew 12. Fouled out— Wa-Hi 2 (M. Ferenz, Molitor). Technical fouls—none. Rebounds— Wa-Hi 28 (K. Ferenz 5, Crawford 5), Lew 22 (K. Wilson 3). Turnovers—Wa-Hi 25, Lew 14. Assists— Wa-Hi 3 (K. Ferenz, Crawford, Hodnefield), Lew 3 (Hobart, Teichmer, L. Wilson).

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