WALLA WALLA — Walla Walla Community College opened on a 26-8 run here Wednesday at the Dietrich Dome in NWAACC East region women’s basketball action.
Following a Caitlin Duncan basket with 6:30 left in the first half, WWCC led Blue Mountain by 18 at 26-8, but the Timberwolves fought back to take a 49-48 lead following a Jada Ootsey free throw with 2:25 to play.
The Warriors regrouped and pulled out a 52-49 win.
“We don’t panic,” Warrior coach Bobbi Hazeltine said of being down one. “We held on. A win is a win. That’s a big win because they (BMCC) have good players and are very well coached.”
The Warriors built a 28-10 lead following a Gabby Anderson bucket off a Brooke Hawkins feed with 4:15 left in the half. WWCC’s defense limited the Timberwolves to 4-of-19 from the floor and Michelle Seitz stopped the NWAACC’s second leading scorer, Kim Pickett, (22.8 points per game) to only four points as the Warriors built the 18-point margin.
“I tried to keep her in front of me,” Seitz said. “We have to take away the 3 as well as the drive. I get a lot of help from my teammates. I know they have my back to help me when I get beat. Our game plan was to worry about her (Pickett) first and the other people later.”
The Timberwolves got back into this one with a 7-0 run to close out the half. Pickett hit her only trey as the horn sounded to cut the Warrior lead to 28-17 at intermission.
“They went on the run and that shot they hit at the buzzer was huge,” Hazeltine said. “That gave them the momentum.”
Pickett went off for nine points as the Timberwolves cut the Warrior lead to 42-39 following Pickett’s jumper with 10:35 to play.
“We’ve not played anybody that good,” Hazeltine said of the freshman from Los Angeles. “Michelle did a commendable job. They started to isolate her (Pickett) and we tried to go underneath but she is so good at those step back shots. Then we go on top, and she’s just good.”
Trailing 49-48, Allie Kelsey found Seitz in the lane and Seitz knocked down a jumper to give the Warriors a 50-49 lead with 2:00 left.
On the ensuing possession, Seitz got a hand in Pickett’s face and Hawkins rebounded the miss with 1:00 left.
“You can’t panic,” Seitz said of being down one. “You just rely on what our coach is having us do. Just keep executing the plays like we know we can.
“You rub off the screen and hit the shot, just like we do everyday in practice,” Seitz said of her jumper. “I knew she (Pickett) would be the one getting the ball. I knew I had to D up and keep her in front of me and let her take a bad shot.”
The Warriors went inside to Hailey Felgenhauer on their next possession and Felgenhauer capped her perfect, 6-of-6, night from the free throw line by draining both shots to ice the Warrior 52-49 win.
“Hailey is our bread and butter,” Hazeltine said. “We knew they would push her a little bit and get her to the free throw line. She made some free throws.”
Pickett led all scorers with 18 points. Duncan led the Warriors with 13 including nine during the Warrior first half run. Seitz and Felgenhauer each finished with 10. Seitz grabbed a team leading nine rebounds as the Warriors won the battle of the glass 49-37.
The win runs the Warrior winning streak to 12, improves their overall record to 13-1, and WWCC will take a 2-0 East record to Treasure Valley Saturday.
walla walla community college 52, blue mountain community college 49
BMCC (49) SEmD Ootsey 0-6 5-8 5, Gutzman 0-3 0-0 0, Patti 2-5 0-0 6, Phillips 1-4 2-2 4, Pickett 8-20 0-3 18, Rodriquez 1-2 0-0 2, Small 0-2 0-0 0, Lovgren 3-4 0-0 6, Via 3-11 0-1 8. Totals 18-57 7-14 49.
WWCC (52) SEmD Seitz 4-10 2-3 10, Hawkins 1-6 0-0 2, DeLong 3-7 0-2 6, Duncan 5-15 2-3 13, Rad 1-3 0-0 2, Felgenhauer 2-9 6-6 10, Kelsey 3-9 0-0 7, Anderson 1-2 0-0 2. Totals 20-61 10-14 52.
Halftime — WWCC 28, BMCC 17. 3-point goals — BMCC 6-21 (Gutzman 0-1, Patti 2-4, Phillips 0-1, Pickett 2-9, Via 2-6), WWCC 2-9 (Seitz 0-2, Duncan 1-4, Felgenhauer 0-1, Kelsey 1-2). Total fouls — BMCC 18, WWCC 12. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — BMCC (coach). Rebounds — BMCC 37 (Ootsey 10), WWCC 49 (Seitz 9). Turnovers — BMCC 12, WWCC 13. Assists — BMCC 8 (Pickett 4), WWCC 12 (Kelsey 4).