EAST WENATCHEE — Friday night was for the seniors when the Eastmont Wildcats girls basketball team, who were still searching for their first league win, faced the Davis Pirates for the second time this season.
The Wildcats were looking to snowball two celebrations into one if they could just manage to wring out a win over the tough Pirates who beat them over a month ago. And they did, after a hard-fought battle that culminated in the fourth quarter where they took the win 43-38.
The first half was low scoring and close. Davis outscored Eastmont to gain the lead at halftime 20-17.
“I am happy for our seniors,” said Stone. “We just kept battling. We kept our possessions and limited turnovers. Tonight we hit our shots, which has been something that has been plaguing us all season.”
The third quarter was a stalemate when each side scored 14 but Mia Phillips kept the Wildcats in the game when she scored 12 of her 18 points this quarter. The final quarter is where the Wildcats pulled it off, their first league win. They outscored the Pirates 12-4 and Emily Hardie came up big when she hit a lay-in with 22 seconds left to extend the lead.
“Everyone played for each other,” said Stone. “We kept it close on defense and denied key players the ball. Everyone contributed.”
Maya Phillips led Eastmont with 18 points and Jayden Brown added 13. Davis’ Lexi Valentinez finished with 12.
Wenatchee loses heartbreaker in final seconds
YAKIMA — The Wenatchee girls basketball team, off of a recent win over their rival Eastmont, was looking to ride the win-wave over the Eisenhower Cadets, who sat similarly ranked in the Big 9.
The game was mostly Wenatchee’s but a few lapses in the final quarter allowed the Cadets back in and they took the victory in the final thirty seconds 51-49.
Wenatchee got out early and set the pace. They slowly built an early lead but the Cadets can fight and got a few points off of fast-breaks late in the quarter to close the deficit but the Panthers led at the end of the quarter 16-11.
The second quarter swung the other way for the Panthers. They led by as much as seven early in the quarter but the Cadets shot their way back, usually through Kiana Yesky who would end the first half with 14 of Eisenhower’s 27 points.
“We didn’t play a good first half,” said Wenatchee Head Coach Pat Loftus. “We had too many careless turnovers.”
The third quarter looked like it might be reminiscent of the previous one when Yesky rebounded the ball and went coast-to-coast for an easy lay-in 31-26. But Wenatchee battled back and Mady Peters tied it up when she side-stepped around her defender and finished with her left hand to tie it up 31-31.
The Cadets responded with a 4-0 run but Kristina Blauman brought the deficit to within one when she sunk a three 35-34. She tied it up when she hit a free-throw on the next play 35-35. Whitney Crawley finally took back the lead when she knocked down her own three but Eisenhower’s Yesky tied it once again with an old-fashioned three-point play.
“We led by eight a few times but Yesky kept bringing them back,” said Loftus.
The final quarter was a doozy. Wenatchee led by as much as eight but then Eisenhower went on an 11-1 run to finish out the game and it was just enough to take the win when Yesky, down by one with 30 seconds left, drove full-court for a lay-in and the lead 50-49.
Wenatchee still had 11 seconds to take the lead but unfortunately after a couple attempts nothing dropped.
“We had plenty of chances to extend the lead but weren’t able,” said Loftus. “I am proud of the way we stuck with it. We had some pretty good defense in spurts but it needs to be more consistent.”
Blauman led Wenatchee with 13 points and Emily Redman finished with 7. Eisenhower’s Yesky finished with 28 points.
Chelan loses to Pioneers with buzzer three-pointer
OMAK — The Chelan girls’ basketball team was on a three-game winning streak when they faced the Omak Pioneers Friday night. The Goats and Pioneers are quite comparable. Their league and overall records are nearly identical (Omak has one more win) and over the season, the two times they met previously, each has taken home a win. But spectacularly, the Pioneers hit a three-pointer at the final buzzer to take another win 44-43.
Chelan jumped out to an early lead finishing the first quarter with nine points and held Omak to just three points. But the following quarter radically swung the other way and the Pioneers outscored the Goats 14-5 to take the lead 17-14 at halftime.
“The girls played hard,” said Chelan Head Coach Rob Huddleston. “We got out to an early lead but we relaxed in the second quarter which has been our problem this season.”
The Goats regained their footing and fought to take the lead by two at the end of the quarter 28-26. But the final quarter was a constant back and forth battle until the final 2.1 seconds. Omak was down by two and after a timeout, they organized an inbound play that freed up a Pioneer behind a screen and she sunk the dagger that gave them the win.
“Our girls were crushed,” said Huddleston. “It was a great high school basketball game. I love how we played, a few mistakes aside.”
Katie Rainville led Chelan with 13 points and Booh Huddleston added 9. Omak’s Taya Mendoza finished with 10.
Chelan will play in Districts Saturday, Feb. 15 at Eastmont High School.
Boys Panthers slink past Eisenhower
YAKIMA — Over a month ago the Wenatchee boys basketball team faced Eisenhower for the first time and won. Friday night they matched up again and for Wenatchee, who is off of two wins in a row, was more than ready to make it three when they beat the Cadets for a second time 61-55.
Eisenhower came out strong. Strong enough to set the tone and give any Panther fan some brief doubt that, perhaps, the Cadets were about to blow them out when they outscored Wenatchee 20-12 in the first quarter. The Cadets shot well but Wenatchee kept it close when Garrett Long drove baseline and finished a reverse lay-in for two to reduce the deficit 12-9.
“Eisenhower came out strong,” said Wenatchee Head Coach Travis Williams. “They shot well that first quarter. We were getting beat off the dribble and they could also kick it out. They have been playing their best basketball lately.”
But Eisenhower had a response when Abram Fernandez hit a close two in the paint but was fouled. He had the chance to make it a three-point play but maybe he was orchestrating a five-point play because he missed the shot, collected the rebound behind the arc and sunk the three to extend the lead 17-11.
The Panthers changed the tone that next quarter. The roles swung the other way and Wenatchee went on a tear fulled by their defense and by Long’s offense when they gained the lead within the final minute of the half and Long extended it further after stealing the ball, getting fouled on the play, and sinking two free-throws to end the half leading 31-28.
“We switched things up defensively and pressed a bit,” said Williams. “That slowed them down offensively.”
This trend continued into the last half where the Cadets continued to claw back but Wenatchee held out maintaining a lead with composure until the final buzzer.
“We were patient offensively,” said Williams. “Long did a great job of running our offense and we stayed tough. We were down early and could have folded but we didn’t.”
Long led Wenatchee with 25 points and Joe Dorey and Nathan Blauman finished with 12 apiece. Eisenhower’s Isaac McDonald finished with 25.
Wenatchee is 6-4 in league and 10-8 overall. Eisenhower is 1-9 in league and 2-16 overall.
Wenatchee plays West Valley at home on Tuesday, Feb. 11 at 7:30 p.m.