RICHLAND -- Clinging to a three-point lead midway through the third quarter, the Richland girls basketball team turned to one of its youngest players to provide a spark.
Freshman Kennedy Corrigan scored seven quick points, had two steals and dished out two assists as the Bombers (5-0 overall, 1-0 CBBN 4A) pulled away for a 48-34 victory against Walla Walla on Friday at Richland in the league opener for both teams.
"I felt like I didn't do very well in the first half," Corrigan said. "I wanted to come out and make a difference. I just worked hard to get my shot."
Walla Walla pulled within 29-26 on a layup by Torri Crawford with 1 minute, 33 seconds left in the third quarter, but Richland quickly put the game away, going on a 13-2 run over the next 5:30.
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Corrigan started it with a free throw, then sandwiched jumpers around a free throw by Mandy Machinal to put the Bombers ahead 35-28 at the end of the third quarter.
Corrigan added another long jumper -- her foot was on the 3-point line -- to open the fourth and then assisted on a 3-pointer by Katie Mahoney. Mahoney added two free throws to cap the run and give the Bombers a 42-28 lead with 4:08 left in the game.
"It was a matter of being aggressive and finding an open lane," Corrigan said.
Corrigan finished with the seven points, while fellow freshman Lauren Perry added four points.
"(Corrigan) was a nice little spark for us," Richland coach Jerry Riggs said. "I've got three freshmen and none of them play like it. We have two who have been contributing on a regular basis for us."
The Bombers dominated the fourth quarter, outscoring the Blue Devils 13-6, including 11-2 at one point.
Walla Walla (3-2, 0-1), which only suited up eight players, ran out of gas in the fourth quarter, as Richland's full-court press forced the Blue Devils into lots of turnovers.
"We got tired and made a lot of mistakes," Walla Walla coach Jill Meliah said. "We've done this all season -- we hang tight for two or three quarters and then in the fourth give in to our bad tendencies."
The Blue Devils had a clear height advantaged led by 6-foot-2 senior post Gabby Anderson and Crawford, a 6-2 sophomore.
While Walla Walla was able to take advantage in the first half, especially when Richland's smaller players attempted to front the posts, an adjustment by Riggs in the second quarter changed the momentum of the game.
Richland started applying ball pressure to the Walla Walla guards and wings to try and keep the Blue Devils from making easy passes.
"They pressured our guards really well," Meliah said. "Our guards struggled with it and it took our posts out of the game. When our posts got the ball they were able to score ... we need to work on handling the pressure."
The Bombers opened the game strong, taking an early 10-4 lead as guard Mandy Machinal hit two 3-pointers and had a putback, and sophomore guard Britney Pringle hit a jumper.
But Anderson and Crawford made layups to pull Walla Walla back into the game, which remained close until Richland's big third-quarter run.
"(This win) sets the tempo for us right now," Corrigan said. "Winning these first five games sets the standard for the rest of the season."
Machinal's 11 points led Richland, while both Pringle and Anna Croskrey added four points and six rebounds. Crawford's nine points and 11 rebounds led Walla Walla, while Anderson added 10 points and five rebounds.
WALLA WALLA -- Sydney Christensen 2 0-0 4, Gabby Anderson 4 2-3 10, Jami Klicker 1 0-0 3, Andrea Hamada 1 0-0 2, Torri Crawford 4 1-2 9, Libbie Jiminez 1 0-0 3, Allie Greene 0 3-4 3, Megan Thompson 0 0-0 0. Totals 13 6-9 34.
RICHLAND -- Mandy Machinal 4 1-4 11, Katie Mahoney 1 4-4 7, Britney Pringle 1 2-6 4, Anna Croskrey 1 2-2 4, Jalyn Van Oelhoffen 3 1-1 8, Abby Duckworth 0 1-2 1, Charlene Manning 1 0-1 2, Lauren Perry 2 0-0 4, Kennedy Corrigan 3 1-3 7. Totals 16 12-23 48.
Walla Walla 11 6 11 6 -- 34
Richland 13 8 14 13 -- 48
3-point goals -- Walla Walla 2 (Klicker, Jimenez), Richland 4 (Machinal 2, Mahoney, Von Oelhoffen). Total fouls -- Walla Walla 20, Richland 13. Fouled out -- none. Turnovers -- Walla Walla 26, Richland 7. Rebounds -- Walla Walla 33 (Crawford 11), Richland 27 (Croskrey, Pringle 6).