Warrior women top Yakima Valley, now tied for first in Eastern Region standings

WWCC snaps Yakima Valley's 26-game NWAACC Eastern Region win streak, and pull even with the Yaks atop the division with the win.

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WALLA WALLA - Walla Walla Community College entered its NWAACC Eastern Region women's basketball clash with first-place Yakima Valley on Wednesday night in the Dietrich Dome with a solid hold on second place and just one game behind the front-running Yaks.

The Warriors, ranked second in the latest NWAACC poll, gave a huge and boisterous partisan crowd plenty to cheer about early when they leaped to a 21-5 lead on a Nancy Johnson basket at the 13:34 mark of the opening half.

WWCC then withstood YVC rallies both before and after halftime, and held on for a 66-59 triumph that snapped Yakima Valley's 26-game Eastern Region winning streak dating back to the 2007-08 season.

Both teams are now 9-1 in league. Walla Walla improved to 20-1 overall and the Yaks, No. 3 in the NWAACC poll, slipped to 17-5.

The Warriors twice led by 17 in the first frame. Kati Isham, who topped Walla Walla scorers with 17 points on the night, sank two free throws that gave WWCC a 29-12 lead with 9:28 on the clock. Cierra Silverthorn drained a pair of freebies with 5:51 left to make it 33-16.

YVC closed to within seven, 38-31, before Isham restored order with a 3-point field goal in the waning seconds of the period to give Walla Walla a 41-31 lead at intermission.

"We knew they were going to bring pressure," WWCC coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. "We did a good job spreading the floor and attacking.

"We surprised them with a four-out, one-in offense," Hazeltine said. "It's something we just put in Monday. There's not a lot of structure, but (it requires) you to go to the hole."

Yakima Valley drew to within one on two occasions in the second half - 54-53 prior to a 3-point bucket by the Warriors' Morgan Wolff with 5:41 to play, and 60-59 before Kayla Hutcheson put down a short, left-baseline jumper at the 2:29 mark that started a game-ending, 6-0 run.

Johnson ended up with 14 points and Hutcheson posted a double-double with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

YVC's Rosetta Adzasu led all scorers with 22 points, but it was defense against two other big guns in the Yaks' arsenal - guards Anna Marchbanks and Nicole DeRosier - that had Hazeltine smiling afterward.

"Kayla did an outstanding job on Marchbanks," Hazeltine said. "She (Marchbanks) is one of the best players in the league. Kati did a great job defending DeRosier."

Marchbanks and DeRosier were a combined 8-for-26 from the field and only 3-of-14 from outside the arc.

WWCC plays at last-place Wenatchee Valley on Saturday.

YVC (59) - Jones 2-2 0-0 5, French 3-7 0-0 8, Roe 0-1 0-0 0, Marchbanks 5-12 1-1 12, Adzasu 9-19 0-0 22, DeRosier 3-14 0-0 8, Urquhart 0-1 0-0 0, Hull 1-3 0-0 2, Fenumiai 1-5 0-0 2. Totals 24-64 1-1 59.

WWCC (66) - Dreadfulwater 0-0 1-2 1, Wolff 3-7 0-0 8, S. Isham 1-4 1-2 3, VanderEsch 0-0 0-0 0, Tucker 2-4 2-2 7, K. Isham 5-11 5-7 17, Johnson 6-11 2-4 14, Hutcheson 5-10 1-2 11, Silverthorn 0-1 3-6 3, Berghammer 0-3 2-4 2. Totals 22-51 17-29 66.

Halftime score - WWCC 41, YVC 31. 3-point goals - YVC 10-30 (Adzasu 4-11, DeRosier 2-12, French 2-2, Jones 1-1, Marchbanks 1-2, Hull 0-2), WWCC 5-11 (Wolff 2-3, K. Isham 2-5, Tucker 1-1, S. Isham 0-1, Silverthorn 0-1). Total fouls-YVC 23, WWCC 9. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-YVC 30 (Marchbanks 7), WWCC 51 (Hutcheson 10). Turnovers-YVC 24, WWCC 29. Assists-YVC 7 (Fenumiai 2), WWCC 12 (K. Isham 5).

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