PASCO -- The Chiawana Riverhawks showed Friday why they are the team to beat in the CBBN 4A.
Nearly everyone contributed as the Riverhawks used a balanced offensive attack and a stifling defensive effort to hammer Moses Lake 53-37 in Pasco.
"It's a big deal," Chiawana's Hayley Hodgins said. "We used all of our assets tonight and moved the ball around. We need to play that up more as the season goes on."
Hodgins was one of three players in double digits for the Riverhawks (13-2 overall, 6-1 CBBN 4A), who didn't wilt down the stretch like they did in a 61-60 loss at Moses Lake earlier this season.
"We knew we should have won up there," Hodgins said. "This time we finished the game and performed like we're supposed to."
Chiawana remains tied atop the conference with Richland as Moses Lake lost its second consecutive CBBN game.
The Riverhawks play at Wenatchee at 7:30 p.m. today, while Moses Lake plays host to Walla Walla at the same time.
In the first meeting between the teams, Moses Lake star Jordan Loera scored 24 second-half points to help her team rally from a 14-point, fourth-quarter deficit.
Early on, it looked as if Loera might just dominate the entire game, rather than the second half.
The University of Oregon-bound guard scored all of her team's 11 points in the first quarter -- three on 3-pointers -- but in the end, the firepower for Chiawana was too much for even her to overcome.
"The credit has to go to Chiawana," Moses Lake coach Matt Strophy said. "They have so many options, and it's hard to cover."
That was evident throughout the game, but especially in the game-deciding second quarter.
After a Loera three-point play pulled the Chiefs within 20-18, Hodgins and Shelby Ellsworth each scored four points and Danielle Loving and Melanie Valdez played stout defense on Loera to send Chiawana into the break ahead 28-19.
"That's the strength of our team," Chiawana coach Steve Davis said. "On offense, we have a lot we can go to. Defensively, we played good as a team.
"What it comes down to is every position on our team is filled with a kid that can play ball. Then you have Danielle come off the bench and she can run the point, but also make spectacular rebounds. You have Kendyl Reynolds who can come in and play solid defense and can see the court well on offense."
The Riverhawks don't have much depth, but that didn't matter, as their strong defense forced Moses Lake (11-4, 5-2) into one option -- Loera.
She finished with 23 points and eight rebounds, but was constantly hounded and didn't get much help from teammates. The Chiefs turned the ball over 27 times and missed 12 free throws.
"We've got to be able to have an inside game and have others step up," Strophy said. "Courtney Kunjara had some turnovers, but she had a good game. She drove to the basket, got to the line and even made a scoop shot.
"We have to refocus ourselves."
While the Chiefs are reeling a bit, the Riverhawks are right where they want to be.
Chiawana plays host to Richland next Saturday in what likely will decide the No. 1 seed for the league tournament.
"This is a great win," Davis said. "It puts us in the driver's seat as far as the league is concerned."
Hodgins finished with 19 points, while Rivard had 13 points. Ellsworth finished with 12 points and 13 rebounds. Sadie Sparks had six rebounds and Loving had seven.
MOSES LAKE (37)
Jordan Loera 8 4-4 23, Kayla Bernsen 0 3-9 3, Kristi Brown 0 0-0 0, Courtney Kunjara 1 4-5 6, Kyleigh Gamez 1 1-2 3, Emily Olson 0 0-2 0, Sadie Nielsen 0 0-0 0, Magie Munoz 1 0-2 2, Felicia Sanders 0 0-0 0, Tasha Gentry 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 12-24 37.
Sadie Sparks 0 3-5 3, Melanie Valdez 1 2-2 4, Shelby Ellsworth 4 4-4 12, Mikaela Rivard 6 0-1 13, Hayley Hodgins 7 3-3 19, Kendyl Reynolds 0 0-0 0, Danielle Loving 1 0-2 2. Totals 19 12-17 53.
Moses Lake 11 8 9 9 -- 37
Chiawana 11 17 11 14 -- 53
3-point goals -- ML 3 (Loera 3), Chiawana 3 (Hodgins 2, Rivard). Total fouls -- ML 13, Chiawana 19. Rebounds -- ML 36 (Loera, Bernsen 8), Chiawana 42 (Ellsworth 13). Turnovers -- ML 27, Chiawana 15.