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NWAC HEADLINES

Women's Basketball Elite Eight Recaps

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WENATCHEE VALLEY 87  , PENINSULA 75  STATS | PHOTOS

Chasity Spady and Ashlyn Burgess led five Wenatchee Valley players in double figures as the Knights advanced to the Final Four with a 87-75 win over Peninsula in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Sunday at Everett Community College.

Spady came off the bench to score 16 points, and  Burgess matched that total. Riley Denton added 15, Ashley Peralta scored 12 and Kiera Steen chipped in 11. Rachel Odima scored eight points and grabbed six rebounds.

Wenatchee Valley, the second seed from the East, improved to 25-5 and will face Lane, No. 2 from the South, Saturday at 3 p.m. in one semifinal. Big Bend, the East’s top seed, will meet South No. 1 Umpqua in the other semifinal. Since 2000, this will be the 11th time the Final Four is comprised of teams from only the East and South Regions of the NWAC.

Peninsula, which came in as the top seed from the North, finished its season at 19-9.

Wenatchee Valley held an 18-13 lead after a quarter, but Peninsula rallied for a 35-33 halftime lead. The Pirates extended that to 40-37 before Wenatchee went on a 12-0 run midway through the third quarter to take a 49-40 lead. The Pirates went 4 1/2 minutes without scoring.

Overall, the run was 23-8 and the third quarter ended with Wenatchee Valley leading 60-48, and the Knights put it away in the fourth quarter to advance to their first Final Four since 2016.

Sunshine Vicente led Peninsula with 22 points, Ashlynn Sharp added 21 and Leilani Padilla chipped in 13.

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LANE 93, LOWER COLUMBIA 44 STATS | PHOTOS

Five Lane players scored in double figures as the Titans blew out Lower Columbia 93-44 in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Sunday at Everett Community College.

Emma Jones came off the bench to score 20 points to lead the way. Megan Still added 16, Megan Fossen 15, Kyle Guelsdorf 11 and Meagan Briggs 10 for Lane, which improved to 28-3. The Titans will face Wenatchee Valley or Peninsula in the Final Four Saturday at 3 p.m.

Lower Columbia, the top seed from the Western Region, finished 21-10.

Briggs grabbed nine rebounds for Lane, while Fossen and Rojas had eight each. Guelsdorf handed out nine assists.

Jerri Maluyo scored 12 points for Lower Columbia and Shasta Lofgren chipped in 10.

Lane blew open a close game early, erasing an 8-7 deficit and running to a 25-11 lead after one quarter. It was 45-26 at halftime and 73-34 after three.

Lane advanced to the Final Four for the first time in three seasons. Prior to a two-year hiatus, the Titans had reached four straight Final Fours.

UMPQUA 86, GRAYS HARBOR 68 STATS | PHOTOS

Taylor Stricklin and Darin Mitchell combined for 55 points, and Cielo Gonzalez came off the bench to score 20, dish out four assists and provide the spark Umpqua needed to pull away from Grays Harbor 86-68 in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament Sunday at Everett Community College.

The Riverhawks advance to their third straight Final Four and their fifth in six seasons. They improved to 27-4 on the year. Grays Harbor finished the season 16-12.

Stricklin finished with 29 points and Mitchell 26 as Umpqua withstood a Choker run in the third quarter. It was in the third quarter that Gonzalez scored 13 points and helped the Riverhawks hold off Grays Harbor.

Following a back and forth first six minutes of the game, Umpqua bolted to a 20-11 lead. The Riverhawks settled for a 22-18 edge at the end of the first quarter. Grays Harbor continued its run and tied the game on multiple occasions in the early part of the second quarter, the last at 24 with 8:16 left.

At that point, Umpqua went on a 10-0 run to make it 34-24. Grays Harbor went more than four minutes without scoring before Sandin Kidder made a pair at the 3:56 mark. The Riverhawks maintained the lead until half and led 45-35.

At halftime, Stricklin had 22 points and Mitchell 16 for Umpqua, while Kidder had 12 and Charleea Armstrong 10 for the Chokers. Umpqua made 50 percent of its shots from the field in the first half.

The Chokers opened the second half on a 13-5 run to cut the Umpqua lead to 50-48 with 4:56 left in the third quarter. But behind Gonzalez, the Riverhawks inched to a 65-57 lead after three. They put the game away with a 21-11 fourth-quarter edge.

Stricklin also had seven rebounds and five assists for the Riverhawks, and Mitchell had 15 rebounds. Grace Campbell added 14 rebounds and six assists.

Kidder and Armstrong scored 25 apiece for Grays Harbor and Armstrong also had seven rebounds.

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BIG BEND 79, CENTRALIA 52 STATS | PHOTOS

Miranda Johnson led three Big Bend players in double figures with 25 points as the Vikings advanced to their second straight Final Four by routing Centralia 79-52 Sunday at Everett Community College in the NWAC Women’s Basketball Tournament.

The East Region’s top seeded Vikings also received 15 points from Leah Dougherty and 14 from Hannah Wilson. Kelsey Sorenson had 12 rebounds and Wilson eight for Big Bend, which won its 11th straight game and improved to 27-4. Centralia, the third seed out of the West Region, finished 15-15.

Lindsey Nurmi scored 10 points to lead Centralia, and Devanie Kleemeyer had eight rebounds.

The Vikings led 16-12 after one quarter and 34-25 at half, and they pulled away in the second half behind seven 3-point goals. They led 47-38 after three quarters and outscored the Trailblazers 32-14 in the fourth quarter to complete the dominant victory.

Centralia was able to make only three of 20 3-point goals, while Big Bend connected on 11 of 32. Overall, Big Bend made 45 percent of its field goals to 30 percent for Centralia. Big Bend also held a 50-32 rebounding edge.


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