The Kamiakin girls basketball team had a gameplan Saturday night on how to beat red-hot Chiawana.
The Braves hoped to slow down Delaney and Braydey Hodgins and make some other Riverhawks players beat them.
For the most part, Kamiakin was successful in slowing down the Hodgins sisters, but the rest of the Riverhawks stepped up to lead the Pasco school to a 63-34 rout in Mid-Columbia Conference action.
“It’s nice when kids like Kendra Winchester and Darbi Pink and Bailey Cartwright are all stepping up and giving points when Delaney struggles a little bit,” Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. “That was a really nice team effort tonight.”
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The victory is the 13th in a row for Chiawana, which remains undefeated in league play. Kamiakin dropped its second in a row and falls into fifth place.
“We were trying to see if other people could step up and beat us and they did,” Kamiakin coach Lane Schumacher said. “(The Hodgins’) other teammates did, and that is the sign of a really strong team. If you stop them they still have other players that can come through for them.”
That was evident right from the opening tipoff as Cartwright had two layups, two steals and three rebounds in the first minute.
Pink closed the first quarter with one of her three 3-pointers on the night. She is shooting nearly 50 percent from behind the arc for the season.
“It helps a lot, because it puts pressure off of me,” Delaney Hodgins said of her teammates scoring. “With everyone doing their jobs, it creates a better teamwork environment.”
Chiawana looked to blow the game open early, leading 27-7 with just over 3 minutes remaining in the first half.
But Kamiakin finally got its full-court press going, using a 12-2 run capped by a steal and layup by Sira Toure to open the third quarter to pull the Braves within 29-19.
But Chiawana would not be denied, especially Hodgins and Winchester, who each scored six points in the third quarter to push the lead back to 45-24.
“I got a little nervous for a stretch because their pressure got to us a little bit,” Davis said. “I told the girls if we could control the boards and their tempo and could break that, they would be fine.
“There were stretches where they got to us, but we settled down fine.”
Chiawana blew the game open in the fourth quarter as Cierah Alferness and Pink had six points, and Molly Sullivan pitched in three points and a handful of rebounds.
Delaney Hodgins and Winchester led all scorers with 13 points, while Pink had 11 and Cartwright nine. Winchester also had 13 rebounds and three steals.
“We just stayed aggressive and looked for the kicks (out passes),” Hodgins said of the strong second half. “We weren’t handling their pressure as well in the first half, but we figured it out in the second.”
The win keeps Chiawana on pace to meet up with Walla Walla in the final game of the regular season on Feb. 7 with the league title on the line.
“These are the preliminary rounds for the heavyweight championship at the end of the year where we play Walla Walla,” Davis said. “We are both kind of going through the league, beating teams pretty good, kind of building up to that climax match against them.”
For Kamiakin, the Braves need to flush this loss and Friday’s to the Blue Devils and try to regroup quickly.
“We have six game sleft, lets see if we can win them all and get ready for the postseason,” Schumacher said he told his team after the game. “We need to bounce back from it.”
Toure’s 11 points led the Braves, while Holly Ellison added 10 points, five steals and two assists.
KAMIAKIN — Ellison 3 4-4 10, M. Wellsandt 0 0-0 0, Schauble 0 2-2 2, Sira Toure 4 3-11 11, Crandall 1 1-2 4, T. Wellsandt 2 1-2 5, Hanson 0 0-0 0, Miller 1 0-0 2, Arnold 0 0-0 0, Oord 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 11-21 34.
CHIAWANA — Cartwright 4 0-0 9, Alferness 3 0-0 6, Kendra Winchester 6 1-2 13, Delaney Hodgins 4 4-6 13, B. Hodgins 1 3-6 6, Sullivan 1 3-4 5, Pink 4 0-0 11, Roach 0 0-0 0, Gonzales 0 0-0 0. Totals 23 11-18 63.
Kamiakin 4 13 7 10 — 34
Chiawana 14 15 16 18 — 63
3-point goals—Kamiakin 1 (Crandall), Chiawana 6 (Pink 3, Cartwright, D. Hodgins, B. Hodgins). Rebounds—Kamiakin 31 (Toure, Ellison 4), Chiawana 53 (Winchester 13). Assists—Kamiakin 4 (Ellison 2), Chiawana 14 (D. Hodgins 5). Steals—Kamiakin 15 (Ellison 5), Chiawana 11 (Winchester 3). Turnovers—Kamiakin 19, Chiawana 18. Fouls—Kamiakin 15, Chiawana 17