If Kamiakin’s 70-48 District 5/8 girls basketball victory over North Central was a piece of cake, it came with a scrumptious bit of icing Tuesday in Kennewick.
Just after halftime, PA announcer George Carlson announced the shocking upset out of Spokane — Kennewick 61, Mount Spokane 50 — a result that would make the Braves the new No. 1 seed for the regional playoffs. What’s more, instead of having to travel two hours up north for their next postseason game, Kamiakin will play host to University at 7 p.m. Friday.
“Kennewick went up and handled their business up there,” Braves coach Lane Schumacher said. “Another home game is always nice.”
The Lions weren’t the only one with an assist. Kamiakin forward Courtney Nelson was credited with 11 to go with a game-high 22 points. The 5-foot-10 senior hit 8 of 14 from the floor and helped spark two big runs — a 16-7 second-quarter run and a back-breaking 17-3 run in the third that gave the Braves a commanding 52-33 lead heading into the final period.
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“One of the biggest things is we played four full quarters,” Nelson said. “I’m really proud of the way we stepped up on defense. We got into key positions in all four quarters, not just one.”
The Braves took a 15-10 first-quarter lead, but the Indians pulled to within 17-15 on a 3-pointer by Brianna King and a pair of free throws by Jaclyn Bordner.
But Nelson hit a runner in the lane, and Amanda Miller scored six of her 12 points during a 16-7 run that gave Kamiakin a 33-22 halftime lead.
Miller also commanded the paint, leading both sides with 13 rebounds.
“We did a nice job on the boards,” Schumacher said. “But another nice thing was we were hitting our 3-pointers. We’re usually not known for that, but it opened some things up for us.”
The third quarter belonged to Holly Ellison. The sophomore guard scored nine of her 10 points on two 3-pointers and a layin off her own halfcourt steal during a 17-3 run that made it 52-33 at the end of the third.
“She can do a lot of things for us. She’s a tasmanian devil,” Schumacher said.
North Central kept things competitive in the fourth quarter, as Bordner collected four of her game-high six steals during a 7-2 run. But that run only cut the Braves’ lead to 61-45 midway through the quarter.
Sira Toure added 17 points, and Lindsay Schauble chipped in six.
“That’s just what I love about our team. We’re not just a one-man team,” Nelson
NORTH CENTRAL — Bordner 10, Brianna King 20, Smith 1, Hare 3, Dean 3, Murphy 7, Stewart 2, George 2, Riley, Kosanke. Totals 17-44 9-13 48.
KAMIAKIN — Ellison 9, Courtney Nelson 22, Toure 17, Schauble 6, Miller 12, Oord 2, Hanson, Crandall, Guice 2, Arnold, Lee, Donais. Totals 27-51 12-17 70.
North Central 10 12 11 14 — 48
Kamiakin 15 18 19 18 — 70
Highlights — 3-pointers: NC 5-9 (King 4, Hare), K 4-7 (Ellison 2, Nelson, Toure); Rebounds: NC 18 (Murphy 6), K 43 (Miller 13); Turnovers: NC 17, K 19; Nelson 11 assists; Ellison 4 steals; Bordner 6 steals.