Wa-Hi girls finish second in MCC

WaHi's Spencer Locati takes the ball hard to the basket in Friday's playoff loss to Chiawana.

WaHi's Spencer Locati takes the ball hard to the basket in Friday's playoff loss to Chiawana.

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PASCO — A night after controlling Richland, 72-40, the Walla Walla High School girls basketball team could not replicate its success against Chiawana.

The Blue Devils had trouble dealing with the Riverhawks’ size, as Chiawana turned its 13 offensive rebounds into 13 second-chance points. Wa-Hi, on the other hand, finished with no second-chance points in the 60-54 loss.

“Last time we played them, we won that rebounding advantage,” Wa-Hi coach Jill Meliah said. “They were more physical than we were. It just didn’t go our way tonight.”

Despite the loss, Wa-Hi will still advance to the regional playoffs where it will visit the Greater Spokane League’s No. 1-seeded Gonzaga Prep Friday.

“Thankfully we’ve done enough work that we’re the No. 2 seed going into regionals,” Meliah said. “We have to win two and we’ll make it to state, which is our ultimate goal.”

The Riverhawks hauled in 32 total rebounds, compared to 24 for the Blue Devils. Chiawana’s Bailey Cartwright finished with a team-high 11 rebounds and her teammate, Kendra Winchester, chipped in eight.

With those two down low, Chiawana guard Delaney Hodgins proved why she was selected conference player of the year, scoring a game-high 22 points on 8-of-18 shooting, grabbing six rebounds and dishing out two assists.

“She took that team on her shoulders and decided she wanted to win another conference championship,” Meliah said.

Maddy Sirmon led Wa-Hi with 17 points on 5-of-9 shooting. Teammate Mikayla Ferenz wasn’t far behind, as she finished with 16 points, five rebounds and three assists.

“We were really looking to use her because I thought she had a mismatch offensively,” Meliah said of Sirmon. “She stepped up and hit some huge shots. We knew we were going to have to hit some outside shots against this team because they like to pack the paint a lot. Tonight we just didn’t get a lot of them to fall.”

Chiawana’s perimeter defense restricted the Blue Devils to only 2-of-19 field goals from behind the 3-point arc. Meliah said a number of looks came at the end of the shot clock, which was a product of the Riverhawks’ defense.

“For the most part, defensively, Chiawana played really well and kind of took us out of our offense,” she said. “We were solid from the line. We played well, I just don’t think it’s the best we’ve played before.”

The Blue Devils’ performance against the Riverhawks was certainly unexpected after Friday’s commanding win against Richland.

Wa-Hi scored a 72-40 win over the Bombers, as the Blue Devils’ post play controlled the pace of play. Sirmon and fellow post Madi Doepker combined to score 29 points on 14-of-17 shooting.

“We were looking to take advantage of our size at positions,” Meliah said. “We have some taller guards and so we’re able to post them up a little bit. That’s what we were trying to do is get Turner out of the paint and pound it inside.”

“I haven’t had a lot of (post looks) lately, but with those passes, I was getting great passes from all my teammates,” Doepker added. “I wouldn’t say it’s all me because you have to have someone pass the ball to you.”

The Blue Devils’ passing was a big reason for the efficient scoring, as Wa-Hi finished with 22 assists on 29 baskets. Ferenz led the way with a team-high six assists.

Ferenz’s passing was critical throughout the night, but her game-high 21 points gave the Blue Devils’ offense an option outside of the post. Whether it was layups or jumpers, Ferenz finished 7-of-13 shooting and 2-of-3 from outside the 3-point arc.

Along with Doepker and Sirmon, Ferenz was one of four Wa-Hi players in double figures, with her twin sister, Kate Ferenz, adding 11.

“We had four girls in double digits. That says a lot,” Meliah said. “I really think this was one of the most complete games we’ve played all season.”

Wa-Hi’s defense limited the Bombers to only 24 percent shooting in the game, as the Blue Devils length and size created match up problems throughout the game. Meliah said Wa-Hi focused exclusively on Richland’s 6-foot post Hailey Turner, who finished 2-of-11 for four points.

“She’s a very physical post, so we were able to match up (her) physicality. We looked to try to front her and then give backside help and the girls were able to do that.”

WALLA WALLA 72, RICHLAND 40

RICHLAND (40) — McCormick 2-6 0-0 5, Catone 1-7 5-6 8, Perry 0-0 0-0 0, Von Oelhoffen 3-16 3-4 11, Hiller 0-0 0-0 0, Corrigan 5-10 0-0 Sorn 0-3 0-0 0, Browner 0-0 0-0 0, Turner 2-11 0-0 4. Totals 13-53 8-10 40.

WALLA WALLA (72) — Hodnefield 1-1 0-0 3, Davis 0-1 0-0 0, Kennedy 0-2 0-2 0, Molitor 1-4 0-0 3, McDaniels 1-1 0-0 2, M. Ferenz 7-13 5-5 21, Sirmon 6-7 0-0 12, Hogan 1-2 1-2 3, Doepker 8-10 1-1 17, K. Ferenz 4-9 1-2 11. Totals 29-50 7-11 72.

Richland 11 8 10 11 — 40

Wa-Hi 19 17 21 15 — 72

3-point goals — Richland 6 (Corrigan 2, Von Oelhoffen 2, McCormick, Catone), Wa-Hi 7 (K. Ferenz 2, M. Ferenz 2, Doepker, Molitor, Hodnefield). Total fouls — Richland 15, Wa-Hi 13. Fouled out — Richland (Corrigan). Technical fouls — none. Total rebounds — Richland 29 (Turner 7), Wa-Hi 36 (Doepker 7, Sirmon 7). Turnovers — Richland 16, Wa-Hi 14. Assists — Richland 6 (McCormick 2, Catone 2, Von Oelhoffen 2), Wa-Hi 22 (M. Ferenz 6).

CHIAWANA 60, WALLA WALLA 54

WALLA WALLA (50) — Hodnefield 0-3 2-2 2, Davis 0-2 0-0 0, Molitor 0-2 0-0 0, McDaniels 0-0 0-0 0, M. Ferenz 6-16 2-2 15, Sirmon 5-9 6-6 17, Hogan 0-0 0-0 0, Doepker 4-11 3-3 11, K. Ferenz 1-3 7-7 9. Totals 16-46 20-20 54.

CHIAWANA (60) — D. Hodgins 8-18 4-5 22, Afterness 1-1 0-1 2, B. Hodgins 2-4 6-6 12, Sullivan 2-3 0-0 4, Cartwright 0-7 3-4 3, Gonzales 0-2 0-0 0, Winchester 7-9 0-0 14, Pink 1-2 0-0 3. Totals 21-46 13-16 60.

Wa-Hi 11 16 9 18 — 54

Chiawana 14 15 13 18 — 60

3-point goals — Wa-Hi 2 (M. Ferenz, Sirmon), Chiawana 5 (D. Hodgins 2, B. Hodgins 2, Pink). Total fouls — Wa-Hi 16, Chiawana 13. Fouled out — Chiawana (Winchester). Technical fouls — none. Total rebounds — Wa-Hi 24 (Doepker 6), Chiawana 32 (Cartwright 11). Turnovers — Wa-Hi 10, Chiawana 13. Assists — Wa-Hi 4 (M. Ferenz 4), Chiawana 11 (Winchester 3).

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