High School Sports

Richland girls earn win over tall Wenatchee

RICHLAND -- The one knock on the Richland girls basketball team is probably its lack of size.

Going against a very tall Wenatchee team Tuesday seemed a recipe for disaster.

But strong outside shooting, a punishing full-court press and the determined play of post Katie Mahoney was more than enough for the diminutive Bombers.

Richland rallied past Wenatchee, winning 61-53 in CBBN 4A play.

The 5-foot-8 Mahoney led the Bombers with 13 points and 13 rebounds -- including eight offensive rebounds -- to constantly outbattle 6-1 Michaela George and 5-11 Lexxi Hallberg.

"I'm not sure (Mahoney) gets enough credit," Richland coach Jerry Riggs said. "She uses her quickness to front the posts and then uses her quickness to move around them and block out -- we ask a lot of her in that regard, but she uses her athleticism, quick feet and long arms to do it. She's a very important player for us."

Mahoney was not only strong on the glass, but she also got some key steals and hit some big shots down the stretch for Richland.

Wenatchee, which trailed by as many as 11 in the first half, took its first lead (44-43) since the opening seconds on back-to-back 3-pointers by Hallberg with 6:44 left in the game.

Rather than panic, though, Mahoney calmly hit a step-back 3-pointer to spark a 11-3 run that put the game away.

"In the fourth quarter, it suddenly hit us that the game was slipping away," Mahoney said. "We needed to start pushing more. I kind of just try my best and take whatever is open and do my thing."

Her thing is about more than just trying hard, though, as she wreaked havoc against Wenatchee's big posts throughout the game.

"We are undersized, and without her quickness and athleticism we are really small," Riggs said.

After Mahoney's 3-pointer put Richland on top, a parade of Bombers went to the free-throw line, making 11 of 13 in the final 5 minutes, 30 seconds to ice the game.

The victory is the second consecutive for Richland after a 17-point home loss to Chiawana on Friday, and kicks off an important week for the Bombers that includes playing host to first-place Moses Lake at 7:30 p.m. Saturday.

"(This win) is really important," Mahoney said. "We need to get into the mentality that we are a good team, and we need to get some momentum."

After a back-and-forth first quarter, which featured Richland making four 3-pointers, the Bombers appeared to take all the momentum they would need, going on a 9-0 run to open the second quarter.

Mahoney started the run by grabbing three offensive rebounds on the opening possession of the second, and finally capping it off with a 3-pointer for a 17-14 lead.

Jalyn Von Oelhoffen then hit a jumper, Lauren Perry had a jumper off an offensive rebound and assist from Mandy Machinal, and Machinal closed the spurt with a reverse layup for a 23-14 lead.

"I don't think we had any energy to start the game," Wenatchee coach Robin Kansky said. "We weren't ready to go."

The Panthers did claw their way back into the game, thanks to two 3-pointers by Kylie Buterbaugh in the third quarter and the hot shooting of Hallberg.

But it was too little, too late for a Wenatchee squad that seemed frustrated all night by the speed of the Bombers.

Machinal had a game-high 18 points, despite playing with flu-like symptoms and barely practicing Monday. Von Oelhoffen added nine points and Britney Pringle added eight points.

Hallberg's 15 points and 12 rebounds led Wenatchee, while George finished with 13 points and 15 rebounds.

WENATCHEE -- Rockstad 1 2-2 4, Douglass 2 2-2 6, George 5 3-5 13, Lexxi Hallberg 5 1-1 15, Holzerland 0 2-2 2, Parker 2 0-0 5, Buterbaugh 2 0-0 6, Kansky 1 0-0 2, Miller 0 0-0 0, Stone 0 0-0 0, Sharp 0 0-0 0. Totals 18 10-12 53.

RICHLAND -- Corrigan 1 0-0 2, Mandy Machinal 3 10-12 18, Croskrey 2 0-0 5, Mahoney 4 2-2 13, Von Oelhoffen 4 0-0 9, Perry 2 2-2 6, Pringle 2 4-5 8. Totals 18 18-21 61.

Wenatchee 14 10 14 15 -- 53

Richland 14 18 9 20 -- 61

3-point goals -- Wenatchee 7 (Hallberg 4, Buterbaugh 2, Parker), Richland 7 (Mahoney 3, Machinal 2, Croskrey, Von Oelhoffen). Total fouls -- Wenatchee 19, Richland 11. Fouled out -- Wenatchee, Rockstad. Rebounds -- Wenatchee 43 (George 15), Richland 37 (Mahoney 13). Turnovers -- Wenatchee 25, Richland 14.