Lower Columbia womens basketball coach Chad Meadors walked up to Columbia Basin College coach Cheryl Holden in the hallway underneath the bleachers at the Toyota Center and shook her hand Sunday night.
That was great halfcourt defense, coach, said Meadors. Thats the best Ive seen in three or four years.
That says a lot, but after Meadors saw his team get shut down, losing to CBC 74-57 in the quarterfinals of the Northwest Athletic Association of Community Colleges womens basketball championships, who was going to argue?
We took their inside game away and wanted to take their drive (to the basket) away, said Holden. We gave up the outside 3 attempts, and they made some of those.
Lyndsey Oswalt wasnt going to argue.
I think (defense is) what brings this team together, said Oswalt, who came off the bench to score a game-high 17 points and grab six rebounds.
Neither was Sierra Higheagle disagreeing.
Our defense, thats what makes us go, said Higheagle, who added 14 points and seven boards.
Nor was Courtney Nelson, who noted that the Hawks use their defensive stops to outrun their opponents.
We definitely use the fastbreak a lot, said Nelson. One of the keys is were really fast.
CBC used that fastbreak early an often to put the contest away early. With just a 9-7 lead, the Hawks exploded for a 10-0 run with a basket and a trey each from Higheagle and Nelson.
I think thats the fun thing about this team, said Nelson. You go all the way down this bench and it could be anybody. Its not who is the best on the team. Its about who will be out there doing their best at that time.
Suddenly it was 19-7, and it was never close again.
We got beat tonight, said Meadors. We thought wed have opportunities to get the ball inside more. But we were 1-for-16 inside the paint in the first half.
The Hawks held the Red Devils to a miserable 20 percent shooting from the floor (7 for 35) in the first half, got 29 defensive stops, and scored 15 points off of seven turnovers.
By halftime, CBC led 45-25.
I told them not to let up at halftime, said Holden.
The Hawks coach was especially pleased with the play of Oswalt, who had a strong performance for the second straight game in the tournament.
We got another great game from Lyndsay, Holden said. Its very hard to explain to a player the jump from high school to college. But its clicking for her now.
Nelson finished with 11 points and six rebounds for CBC.
Donniesha Webber led the Red Devils with 15 points and seven rebounds, while Arinesha Smith added 12 points and six boards.
The Hawks (25-4) now take on defending NWAACC champion Lane (24-6), which beat Spokane 71-45 in the quarterfinals, in the semifinals at 8 p.m. today.
Lower Columbia (22-7) will play Spokane (16-13) in a loser-out game at 4 p.m. today.
LOWER COLUMBIA Haley Hibbs 2-6 0-0 6, Donniesha Webber 5-13 0-1 15, Christian Carlson 1-10 0-0 3, Arinesha Smith 3-12 5-10 12, Sierra Richards 2-4 2-2 6, Emily Griner 1-1 0-0 3, Autumn Moorcroft 1-1 0-0 2, Nesija Seleva 0-1 0-0 0, Mady Hanna 0-3 0-1 0, Kaylea Knox 2-11 2-2 7, Haley Vandanhazel 0-0 1-2 1, Amica Cranston 0-3 2-4 2. Totals 17-65 12-22 57.
COLUMBIA BASIN Kelsey Yenney 1-4 1-2 3, Shannon Bland 2-6 0-0 5, Sydney Mercer 4-10 1-2 9, Sierra Higheagle 5-11 2-2 14, Courtney Nelson 5-10 0-0 11, Alicia Jones 0-1 0-0 0, Kellie Ross 0-2 0-0 0, Lyndsay Oswalt 6-16 5-6 17, Lacie French 4-5 0-0 8, Brenda Bingham 0-0 0-0 0, Courtney Weber 0-0 0-0 0, Hannah Depew 3-4 1-1 7. Totals 30-69 10-13 74.
HalftimeCBC 45-25. 3-point goalsLCC 11-34 (Webber 5-12, Hibbs 2-3, Griner 1-1, Knox 1-4, Smith 1-4, Carlson 1-6, Cranston 0-1, Seleva 0-1, Hanna 0-2), CBC 4-14 (Higheagle 2-6, Bland 1-1, Nelson 1-2, Ross 0-2, Yenney 0-3). ReboundsLCC 46 (Webber 7), CBC 47 (Higheagle 7). AssistsLCC 13 (Carlson 4), CBC 17 (Bland 6). TurnoversLCC 16, CBC 10. FoulsLCC 15, CBC 17.