Blue Devil girls have huge fourth quarter in 60-40 win over Hanford

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WALLA WALLA — Led by 19 points from Torri Crawford and a double-double from Mikayla Ferenz, Wa-Hi rattled off its sixth-straight victory with a 60-40 Mid-Columbia Conference victory over Hanford Friday night at the Wa-Hi gymnasium.

Although the Blue Devils (10-1, 4-1 MCC) controlled the match from the get go, the Falcons (6-5, 4-1 MCC) hung with Wa-Hi until the fourth quarter when Wa-Hi outscored them 22-5 to take the air out of the match.

“I feel like we would go up 10, and then we would have these mental lapses … and I really challenged them between the third and the fourth quarter,” Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said, “and I thought they responded well in the fourth quarter and finally came out and got the defensive stops that we needed to be able to go on an offensive run.”

Crawford, a 6-foot-2 senior post, scored 12 points in the second half, eight in the fourth, and benefited from numerous assists from Ferenz.

“Torri is a senior and I expect a lot from her,” Meliah said. “I really challenged her in the second half, and I was very proud of her for coming through. When she posts hard in there and works, she’s pretty unstoppable.”

Ferenz finished closed to a triple-double with 11 points, 10 assists and seven rebounds.

Madi Doepker finished with 12 points, Maddy Sirmon added eight, and Kate Ferenz chipped in seven more.

The Blue Devils outrebounded Hanford 39-to-22, including 20 offensive rebounds, and took advantage of 18 Falcon turnovers while committing just 13 themselves.

Wa-Hi also went 14-for-15 from the free throw line, led by Crawford, who hit all five of her attempts.

“For the most part I feel pretty comfortable,” Meliah said of her team’s free throw shooting. “We have pretty good shooters, but 14-for-15 from the line is impressive — I’ll take that any night.”

Hanford’s Colette Gall scored first and the teams traded baskets to a 6-all tie with 4:17 left in the first period before Wa-Hi went on a methodical 11-3 run over the next 4 minutes and 6 seconds.

Wa-Hi’s 17-12 lead at the end of the first ballooned into a 25-14 advantage over the next half-quarter before Hanford came alive and scored four consecutive baskets to pull with five, 25-20, with 1:26 left in the half.

Wa-Hi re-extended its lead to 10 at the half with a triple from Mikayla Ferenz and a lay-in from Kate Ferenz, but the Blue Devils struggled in the third.

The Falcons trailed by just a basket, 34-32, with 1:28 left in the third and finished the period down just three, 38-35, after a 3-pointer from Gall at the buzzer.

“For whatever reason we have trouble in the third quarter,” Meliah said. “I think we let down our guard at halftime and then have trouble getting back up. It’s something that we’ve been working on, and obviously have still yet to figure out.

“But the nice thing about this team is that we can always go on runs,” Meliah said.

Go on a run Wa-Hi did, as the Blue Devils outscored Hanford 11-1 over the first 2:49 of the fourth and went on to turn what had been a three-point game into a 20-point laugher over the space of a single period.

The Blue Devils host Richland (4-7, 2-3 MCC) Saturday night at 5:35 p.m.

WALLA WALLA 60, HANFORD 40

HANFORD (60) — Winsor 1-4 0-0 2, Gall 6-13 0-0 13, Foraker 1-3 0-1 2, Thompson 0-1 0-0 0, Roueche 1-4 0-0 2, Steele 4-8 0-0 10, Shintaffer 0-2 1-2 1, Hall 3-7 1-1 8, Stewart 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 17-45 2-4 40.

WALLA WALLA — K. Ferenz 3-6 0-0 7, Doepker 4-14 4-4 12, Sirmon 3-7 2-2 8, M. Ferenz 4-12 2-2 11, Molitor 0-1 0-0 0, Crawford 7-13 5-5 19, Greene 1-2 0-0 2, Hodnefield 0-1 1-2 1. Totals 22-56 14-15 60.

Hanford 12 8 15 5 — 40

Walla Walla 17 13 8 22 — 60

3-point goals — Han 4-15 (Gall 1-2, Steele 2-6, Hall 1-5), WW 2-8 (K. Ferenz 1-1, M. Ferenz 1-4). Total fouls — Han 11, WW 10. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — Han 22 (Shintaffer 3), WW 39 (M. Ferenz). Turnovers — Han 18, WW 13. Assists — Han 6 (Gall 3), WW 14 (M. Ferenz).

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