High School Sports

Chiawana wears girls district crown

PASCO -- A year ago, Hayley Hodgins won a CBBN girls district basketball title wearing Pasco purple and white.

On Friday night, Hodgins again held a piece of championship net in her hands, this time wearing the navy and white of Chiawana.

"Making history, it feels great," Hodgins said after scoring a game-high 19 points to lead the Riverhawks to the first district title in the school's short history, 51-32 over Walla Walla in Pasco.

The victory means Chiawana opens 4A Eastern Regional play Tuesday night at home against the winner of tonight's Southridge-Wenatchee game.

"This is a real confidence booster, for sure," Hodgins said. "We were nervous before the game, but also real excited."

The sixth-ranked Riverhawks (21-2) also felt they had something to prove after Wa-Hi beat them 40-29 two weeks ago.

Hodgins was held scoreless in that game, but she quickly made sure that wouldn't happen again, hitting a 17-footer on Chiawana's second possession.

She finished 8-of-13 from the field, scoring 11 points in the first quarter as Chiawana used a 15-0 run to take control.

"We wanted to show who the better team was," Hodgins said. "We came out hard and stayed with it the whole game."

Blue Devils coach Jill Meliah saw the difference right away.

"At our place, we were more aggressive, more physical," said Meliah, whose team hosts Central Valley in a regional opener Tuesday. "Tonight, Chiawana was the more physical team. We couldn't find any sort of rhythm offensively. We were not at our best."

Chiawana coach Steve Davis changed his team's offensive strategy from the previous meeting to try and get his team more in an attack mode.

"We opened things up and wanted them to create off the dribble rather than slow things down and try to pound it inside," he said. "This win was big for our school. Our motto all year has been, 'We are Chiawana. Let everyone know it.' This was a step in the right direction."

The Riverhawks trailed only once, 5-4, then went off on their big run to lead 19-5 on a free throw by Shelby Ellsworth with 6:52 left before halftime.

The lead grew to as many as 17 before Chiawana settled for a 29-13 halftime lead. Wa-Hi never got closer than 15 in the second half.

The Riverhawks outrebounded Wa-Hi 34-24, including 16 on the offensive end for 12 second-chance points, and scored 22 points off 19 Wa-Hi turnovers.

Ellsworth added 11 points and nine rebounds, and Sadie Sparks grabbed a game-high 10 rebounds in her first start since suffering a thumb injury last week.

Jill McDaniels led Walla Walla with 11 points, while Jamie Weisner added 10 before fouling out midway through the fourth quarter.

Chiawana 51, Wa-Hi 32

WALLA WALLA -- Jill McDaniels 11, Baker 2, Weisner 10, Hamada 2, Reardon, Jimenez 3, Adkins 2, Christensen 2, Anderson. Totals 11-33 7-11 32.

CHIAWANA -- Hayley Hodgins 19, Sparks 4, Ellsworth 11, Valdez 9, Rivard 6, Reynolds 2, Kelly, Huisingh, White, Loving. Totals 21-56 6-12 51.

Walla Walla 5 8 11 8 -- 32

Chiawana 15 14 14 8 -- 51

Highlights -- WW 3x7 3pt, Chi 3x8; WW 24 rbs, Chi 34; WW 19 TOs, Chi 9; McDaniels 6 rbs, 3 asts; Alicia Baker 6 rbs; Sadie Sparks 10 rbs, 4 asts, 5 stls; Shelby Ellsworth 9 rbs, 3 asts.