RICHLAND -- Chiawana coach Steve Davis told his team two things before Friday's game against host Richland: Pound the ball inside and don't let the Bombers take open 3-pointers.
The Riverhawks did neither of their coach's wishes in the first quarter, but flipped the switch with a devastating run in the second quarter to roll to a 55-38 CBBN 4A victory.
"It was dumb of us," Chiawana's Shelby Ellsworth said of her team's first-quarter play. "We had to get up on them and stop them from shooting. (Our defense) keyed our offense from there."
Richland (7-1, 1-1) led 17-15 with 10 seconds left in the first quarter, making five 3-pointers to keep the Chiawana defense on its heels.
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While the Bombers were bombing away, the Riverhawks were rushing on offense and relying on jump shots, rather than using a distinct height advantage.
But then Chiawana (8-2, 1-1) settled down and played like a championship contender, going on a 23-3 run to turn a two-point deficit into a 38-20 halftime lead.
"They didn't listen in the first quarter, but in the second quarter they fixed it," Davis said. "We told them to be deliberate and get the ball inside and it got fixed."
Hayley Hodgins scored nine points during the run, hitting two wide-open 3-pointers on the press-break and adding three free throws.
Mikaela Rivard and Ellsworth chipped in six points each during the run, as the Riverhawks attacked the basket, used their height to pass over the Richland press and buckled down on defense, only allowing Richland three second-quarter points -- all on free throws.
"It's always good to play good defense to get our offense going," Ellsworth said. "Once we settled them down, our offense came in and was smooth.
"Defense is a pride thing. It's a personal thing to not let the other person beat you."
Hodgins started the run with two free throws as Richland's Jalyn Von Oelhoffen picked up an ill-advised third foul with less than a second remaining in the first quarter.
Ellsworth sandwiched lay-ins around a Rivard lay-in, a Hodgins 3-pointer and three free throws by Richland's Mandy Machinal to put Chiawana ahead 26-20.
Another Ellsworth lay-in, two more lay-ins for Rivard and another 3-pointer by Hodgins capped the run to send Chiawana into halftime with a stunning 18-point lead.
"When you let Hodgins and Rivard touch the ball as much as they did in the second quarter, you are in trouble," Richland coach Jerry Riggs said. "We let those two get off like that and we can't compete with them.
"They are a solid team and they'll probably be playing in March."
Hodgins led Chiawana with 15 points and four rebounds, while Rivard added 14 points. Ellsworth had 11 points and seven rebounds and Sadie Sparks finished with nine points and seven rebounds.
Machinal's 12 points and five rebounds led the Bombers, while Katie Mahoney finished with nine points and six rebounds.
For Chiawana the win was important after a bit of a rocky stretch on its schedule. The Riverhawks dropped their CBBN 4A opener to Moses Lake 61-60 on Dec. 17. Chiawana then played some tough games in a North Idaho tournament, losing to Coeur d'Alene 51-46 on Dec. 29.
"That tournament was really good for us," Ellsworth said. "It reminded us that there are still teams just as good or better than us.
"We have to put forth the effort. We can't expect to just walk onto the court and win."
CHIAWANA -- Mikaela Rivard 6 2-2 14, Melanie Valdez 2 0-0 4, Shelby Ellsworth 5 1-2 11, Hayley Hodgins 4 3-4 15, Sadie Sparks 3 3-3 9, Kendyl Reynolds 0 0-1 0, Danielle Loving 1 0-0 2, Bianca Gonzales 0 0-0 0. Totals 21 9-12 55.
RICHLAND -- Britney Pringle 1 0-0 2, Katie Mahoney 2 3-4 9, Jalyn Von Oelhoffen 3 0-0 8, Kennedy Corrigan 1 0-0 2, Mandy Machinal 3 5-8 12, Anna Croskrey 1 0-0 3, Lauren Perry 0 2-2 2. Totals 11 10-14 38.
Chiawana 17 21 8 9 -- 55
Richland 17 3 12 6 -- 38
3-point goals -- Chiawana 4 (Hodgins 4), Richland 6 (Mahoney 2, Von Oelhoffen 2, Croskrey, Machinal). Total fouls -- Chiawana 17, Richland 17. Rebounds -- Chiawana 33 (Ellsworth, Sparks 7), Richland 29 (Mahoney 6). Turnovers -- Chiawana 21, Richland 22.