PASCO -- What a way for the Pasco-Chiawana basketball rivalry to begin.
"Once I walked into the girls game, I was blown away by how big the crowd was," said Chiawana senior Miquiyah Zamora. "It was a great feeling. You'd make a shot, and you couldn't hear yourself think."
And the girls game proved quite the appetizer Tuesday night, with Bulldogs senior Danielle Walter matching her career-high with 36 points, but the Riverhawks' balance earned the win, 66-56.
The fifth-ranked Riverhawks looked poised to run away with this game early, jumping out to a 13-2 lead late in the first quarter.
But Walter banked in a 3-pointer in front of the Chiawana bench as the first-quarter buzzer sounded, and it was as if a switch was turned on.
"I can say that before the game, the emotions hit me," Walter said. "The adrenaline was going tonight."
Walter scored 14 points in the second quarter and 12 in the third. Her three-point play with 5:51 left in the game brought Pasco within 51-50, and she fed Claudia Olguin for a layin with 4:44 left that tied the score at 52.
But Hayley Hodgins buried a 3-pointer off a Sadie Sparks steal and long pass to put Chiawana back on top with 3:42 left, and the Riverhawks closed the game on a 14-4 run for their eighth straight win.
"We survived the Danielle Walter show tonight," said Chiawana coach Steve Davis. "She was on a mission tonight."
Hodgins and Sparks scored 21 apiece, and Sparks pulled down a game-high 15 rebounds, but Davis focused on junior reserve Kendyl Reynolds' contributions -- a career-high 12 points, two assists and two steals.
"She was our savior tonight," Davis said. "She didn't play scared. She played like an all-conference player. Hopefully, she will continue that, because that will make us that much tougher of a team."
Pasco coach Aaron Barcot was pleased with his team's effort but rued seven missed free throws in the fourth quarter.
"Those hurt, but I'm always antsy when we go to the free-throw line," he said. "Tonight, against a team that good, it was unbelievable how intense we were. I told the girls afterward, we need to be there with the intensity level every night."
Olguin added 11 points and seven rebounds for the Bulldogs.
Sadie Sparks 21, Ellsworth 3, Valdez 3, Hayley Hodgins 21, Rivard 6, Reynolds 12, Kelly. Totals 24-57 10-18 66.
Danielle Walter 36, Olguin 11, Rodriguez, Everson 6, Menchaca, Schmaljohn, Y.Diaz, Johnson 3. Totals 17-52 17-26 56.
Chiawana 15 16 15 20 -- 66
Pasco 7 18 20 11 -- 56
Highlights -- Chi 8x17 3pt, Pas 5x16; Chi 44 rbs, Pas 32; Chi 16 TOs, Pas 14; Sparks 15 rbs, 3 stls; Mikaela Rivard 14 rbs; Melanie Valdez 6 rbs, 4 asts; Walter 3 asts; Missy Everson 8 rbs; Claudia Olguin 7 rbs.