A furious rally wasn’t enough, as the Whitman women’s basketball team’s dream season came to an end Saturday.
The Missionaries lost 63-53 to host Williams College in the NCAA Division III Elite 8.
Whitman (22-6) trailed by as many as 20 in the second half, but used a 7-0 run to pull within 60-53. The Missionaries had the ball, but missed a 3-pointer and Williams pulled back away.
“This team just brought it every night,” said coach Michelle Ferenz in a news release. “They never put a ceiling on their effort. They never thought, ‘That is good enough.’ They pushed each other to get better every day. They are probably the best practice team I have ever coached.”
The tournament appearance was the first in program history for the Missionaries. They won three games to reach the matchup with Williams.
Southridge High graduate Heather (Worley) Johns had 14 points and 10 rebounds, while Redmond’s Sarah Anderegg’s 18 points and six rebounds led the Missionaries.
Williams, which will face DePauw in the Final Four next weekend in Holland, Mich., finished with 20 blocks.
Western Washington 60, Simon Fraser 40: Led by Mabton and Columbia Basin College graduate Trishi Williams, the Vikings cruised to the Great Northwest Athletic Conference title at Saint Martin’s in Lacey.
Williams had game-highs of 16 points, six steals and five assists for Western Washington (25-3), which earned an automatic berth into the NCAA Division II national tournament with the victory.
It is the first GNAC tournament title for the Vikings, who lost to Alaska Anchorage in the title game the last two seasons.
Eastern Washington 70, Weber State 53: Carrie Ojeda scored a career-high 27 points, grabbed 12 rebounds and had five steals to lead the Eagles to the victory.
The win sewed up third place in the Big Sky for Eastern Washington (18-11, 14-6), which will face No. 6 seed Montana State in the Big Sky tournament quarterfinals at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday in Missoula.
Chiawana graduate Hayley Hodgins scored eight points, while Hanford grad Laura Hughes had one point.
Davenport (Mich.) 62, Eastern Oregon 60: The Mountaineers missed a potential game-winning 3-pointer at the buzzer, losing in the NAIA Division II national tournament Elite 8 in Sioux City, Iowa.
Eastern Oregon (33-3) led 39-32 at halftime but couldn’t hang on. The Mountaineers pulled within 62-60 with 41 seconds left on a layup by Kelsea Hurliman. After a defensive stop, the Mountaineers got the ball back with eight seconds to go.
Brooke Randall had an open look from beyond the arc, but the shot rimmed out.
Hermiston graduate Maloree Moss had three points for Eastern, while Hanford’s Jorie Freeman and Kamiakin’s Tina Miller played but did not score.