Wildcats pick bad time to go cold
Kennewick picked a good time to get hot. Mt. Spokane picked the wrong time to go cold.
That in a nutshell describes the Wildcats girls season-ending 61-50 basketball loss Wednesday to the visiting Lions in the MCC-GSL Subregional tournament.
“That’s the best we’ve shot all season,” Kennewick coach Oliver Browning said of his 9-12 team.
“They sat back in a zone and we had great looks, but the ball just didn’t fall for us tonight,” coach Melissa Allen said of her Wildcats, who finish the year with a 12-9 record.
Despite woeful shooting – 3 for 21 from 3-point range and 17 for 54 overall – Mt. Spokane was very much in a game that, for the most part, was played with a two-point cushion either way. The biggest deficit was seven from which the Wildcats rallied to lead 36-35 in the third quarter.
But over a 4-minute span that followed, Kennewick went on an 18-1 scoring binge, fueled by hot-handed Ashley Kump to build a 53-37 lead with six minutes remaining in the game.
She had but one basket at intermission, then scored 10 points during the spurt and finished with 15 for the game. To tell what kind of night it was for Mt. Spokane, she slammed two shots, including a 3-pointer, hard off the backboard and both banked in.
“We had to make our shots (in order to win),” Browning said. “Banking in a few doesn’t hurt.”
He said that Kump hadn’t clicked offensively all season until lately.
The other key to their victory, he said, came on the boards.
“I was really concerned,” Browning said citing Mt. Spokane’s size advantage.
But 6-foot-1 Panisesi (Princess) Taimani, the only Lion taller than 5-7, clogged the lane, pulling down 14 rebounds to thwart the Wildcats’ second-shot opportunities and scored 12 points. Taylor Osmundson scored a team high 16 with three-3 pointers.
Kennewick unofficially was 21 for 34 from the field, hitting six 3-pointers in a foreign gym. The Wildcats made less than a third of their shots with the supposed advantage of the home gym.
Seniors Alyssa Lloyd scored 11 points, Megan Ulias and Brooke Reilly had nine apiece.
“We haven’t seen zone much in the GSL,” Allen said. “We did our best to fight back, but anything they threw up went in. I feel badly for the girls. They worked hard for No. 1 in league, but had an off night.”
Shadle Park 83, Sunnyside 64: A dominating third-quarter run lifted the Highlanders (12-9) to a victory over the Grizzlies in Sunnyside.
Morgan Grier scored 18 points and Kaycee Hert added 17 points and seven steals for Shadle Park, which outscored Sunnyside 32-12 in the third quarter to take a commanding lead into the fourth period.
Winter Hayes added 13 points for the Highlanders, who will host Kennewick Friday at 6 p.m.
University 45, Hanford 40: Kayleigh Valley made 12 of 14 free throws and finished with 24 points and the host Titans (12-9) held off a late Falcons rally and staved off elimination.
University led by 10 points after three quarters. Hanford rallied in the fourth, but couldn’t complete the comeback.
The Titans next play on Friday night, hosting Kamiakin in a winner-to-state game at 6.
Kamiakin 70, North Central 48: The Braves led from start to finish and eliminated the visiting Indians (2-19). Brianna King had 16 points and five assists and Jaclyn Bordner added 12 points to lead North Central.
Kamiakin won the rebounding battle 40-15 and came away with 18 offensive boards.