Everyone in the Chiawana gym knew where the ball was going Tuesday night, and still Delaney Hodgins would not be denied.
The junior wing caught the ball on the low block, took a dribble and spun around the Richland defender for an easy layup.
The basket helped Chiawana stem a Richland run en route to a 44-36 Mid-Columbia Conference victory.
My focus is just to try to score, Hodgins said. And if they are stopping me, to kick it out and let my teammate hit the shot.
That didnt happen late, as Hodgins made two big baskets to help the Riverhawks maintain possession of first place in the league.
As she caught the ball with Richlands Britney Pringle on her left hip, Richland coach Cindy McCoy yelled out for her defense: Watch the spin move.
As if on cue, Hodgins spun to her right and laid the ball in for a 37-32 lead. After Chiawanas Cierah Alferness and Richlands Kayla Catone traded baskets, Hodgins again went to work, making a layup and getting fouled. She converted the three-point play for a 42-34 lead with just over a minute to play.
I think she just looks to get to the rim ... whatever she needs to do get to the rim she does, Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. Its huge having a kid thats been around and wants the ball in her hands.
For most of the game, Pringle kept the ball out of Hodgins hands, causing the Riverhawks to struggle offensively.
But Chiawanas defense was up to the task, including the solid play by Bianca Gonzales.
Gonzales who shut down Kamiakins Sira Toure in a victory Saturday held Pringle, the Bombers leading scorer, to six points.
She is my No. 1 defender, Davis said. She is one of those kids that takes playing defense personal. If she gets scored on, she gets mad and plays harder.
Chiawana held Richland to 14-for-53 shooting (26.4 percent). The Riverhawks werent much better, making just 18-of-50 shots (36 percent).
It was enough to top Richland, though, as the Riverhawks battled against the taller Bombers.
Alferness provided eight points and six rebounds, including four points during a 10-2 run in the third quarter that gave Chiawana (8-1 leauge, 10-5 overall) a nice cushion.
Richland (4-5, 6-9) rallied behind the play of post Hailey Turner, who finished with 10 points and 10 rebounds.
We did probably the best job we have this season of getting the ball into the post, McCoy said. We got some good looks at the basket because of that. It wasnt all Turner, either, as forward Abby Duckworth added four points and seven rebounds.
In the end, though, Hodgins and the Riverhawks did just enough to take home the victory.
I like the pressure, Hodgins said. I feel that if I dont score people will be mad at me and I can take that.
Not that anyone from Chiawana will be mad at her after this night.
RICHLAND Abby Duckworth 2 0-0 4, Hailey Turner 5 0-0 10, Britney Pringle 3 0-0 6, Kayla Catone 4 4-5 13, Kennedy Corrigan 0 3-4 3, Sarah McCormick 0 0-0 0, Jordan Taylor 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 7-9 36.
CHIAWANA Delaney Hodgins 5 5-5 15, Bianca Gonzales 3 0-2 6, Sierra Perez 3 0-0 9, Molly Sullivan 2 0-2 4, Cierah Alferness 4 0-0 8, Darbi Pink 0 0-0 0, Jennifer Gonzales 1 0-0 2, Braydey Hodgins 0 0-0 0, Bernadette Roach 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 5-9 44.
Richland 6 10 9 11 36
Chiawana 13 6 14 11 44
3-point goals Richland 1 (Catone), Chiawana 3 (Perez 3). Total fouls Richland 8, Chiawana 9. Fouled out none. Rebounds Richland 39 (Turner 10), Chiawana 39 (Hodgins 8). Turnovers Richland 10, Chiawana 9.