WALLA WALLA — Wa-Hi completed its sweep of Richland here Saturday in Mid Columbia Conference girls basketball action.
Wa-Hi took the lead as Madi Doepker finished a feed from Kate Ferenz with 4:33 to play in the first for a 6-4 lead over Richland. The Blue Devils led the rest of the way and took home a 38-24 win over the Bombers. Coupled with a 60-40 win over Hanford Friday, Wa-Hi improves to 5-1 in MCC play with its sweep of the Richland schools.
The Blue Devils played without 6-foot-2 post Torri Crawford, who was away at a University of Idaho endorsed volleyball tournament in Salem, and starting guard Mikayla Ferenz saw limited action as she was in foul trouble all night.
Wa-Hi went to plan B and went inside to Doepker and the sophomore responded with a 24 points and 13 rebounds to lead the Blue Devils.
“She (Crawford) is such a strong player, and I felt like I could help the team a little more,” Doepker said. “We were all really nervous (to play without her), so I tried to play my hardest and I tried to score and get all the rebounds.”
Behind Doepker’s eight first-quarter points, the Blue Devils took a 10-7 lead after one and extended that to 16-9 at intermission on the way to a 14-point win.
“I was worried about how we were going to go about things (without Crawford),” Blue Devil coach Jill Meliah said. “I was proud of them. We played without Torri and without Mikayla and, although it was ugly at times, we still managed to win by double digits.”
Wa-Hi, in an effort to fight off its third-quarter blahs, took a quick time out and it appeared that Meliah righted the ship. Mikayla Ferenz and Doepker each scored five, and Maddy Sirmon beat the buzzer to send Wa-Hi to an insurmountable 30-14 lead heading to the fourth.
“I’m starting to learn that these girls respond to me getting mad,” Meliah said. “There are times when I have to call time and get a little mad. They seem to like to see me fiery.”
The Wa-Hi defense never let the Bombers get back into this one. Wa-Hi limited Richland to 14 points, only two in the second, through three periods.
“We have to rely on our defense and we did that tonight,” Meliah said. “Defensively, that was one of our best games. Our defense is what won us that game.”
Mikayla Ferenz and Doepker took over the fourth period as Wa-Hi finished off the Bombers. Doepker scored eight, all on feeds from Mikayla Ferenz.
“Mikayla and I do this thing,” Doepker said. “Someone gets a rebound and I sprint down the floor as fast as I can. Mikayla dribbles as fast as she can and we try and do a cherry pick. It worked well tonight.”
Doepker led all scorers with her 24 points, equalling the Bomber total. Sirmon added six.
As far as I’m concerned, it was one against five,” Meliah added. “She stepped up huge. She was very strong down low. We’ve been working hard on getting her to post hard and go up strong. She was able to do that tonight.”
Wa-Hi travels to league leading Kamiakin Friday.
“Kamiakin is really good,” Meliah commented. “Going to Kamiakin will be a good test for us to see where we are at. I think we’ve improved a lot over the last month. I’m anxious to see how we do against the top in the league.”
Wa-Hi 38, richland 24
Richland (24) — McCormick 0 0-0 0, Catone 2 0-1 4, Perry 0 0-0 0, Corrigan 1 1-4 3, Pringle 2 2-2 8, Parnell1 0-0 2, Duckworth 0 0-0 0, Turney 2 1-2 5, Taylor 1 0-0 2. Totals 9 4-9 24.
Wa-Hi (38) — Hodnefield 0 0-0 0, Greene 0 0-0 0, Molitor 0 1-2 1, M. Ferenz 2 0-0 5, Sirmon 3 0-0 6, Doepker 11 2-7 24, K. Ferenz 0 2-2 2, Davis 0 0-0 0, Kennedy 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 5-11 38.
Richland 7 2 5 10 — 24
Wa-Hi 10 6 14 8 — 38
3-point goals — RHS 2 (Pringle 2), Wa-Hi 1 (M. Ferenz). Total fouls — RHS 14, Wa-Hi 12. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — RHS 37 (Turner 9), Wa-Hi 34 (Doepker 13). Turnovers — RHS 16, Wa-Hi 11. Assists — RHS 4 (Corrigan 2), Wa-Hi 10 (M. Ferenz 4).