EVERETT — Cierra Jo McKeown scored a game-high 28 points Saturday night to lead the Walla Walla Community College women’s basketball team to a 74-63 victory over Clackamas in Northwest Athletic Conference tournament action at Everett Community College.
“Cierra Jo played very well,” Warrior coach Bobbi Hazeltine said. “She had a really good game.”
Jade Skidmore added 18 points to the Warriors’ point total and Kate Ferenz contributed 10 as WWCC exacted revenge on the Cougars, who beat Walla Walla, 65-59, in overtime on Dec. 10.
The Warriors, who have now won nine straight games and are 22-4 overall, will face Lower Columbia today at 6 p.m. in an Elite Eight matchup that will determine a berth in next weekend’s NWAC Final Four.
WWCC led 16-7 after one quarter of its Saturday triumph.
“I thought we had a few jitters at the beginning,” Hazeltine said. “Our defense was good in the first quarter. We were prepared for what they were going to do.”
The Cougars got back into the game on the strength of a 23-point second quarter and trailed by five, 35-30, at halftime.
WWCC got its lead back to 56-46 after three quarters and were not seriously threatened in the final period.
“We were efficient offensively and made the most of our possessions,” Hazeltine said. “We shot the ball pretty well. Kate had a couple of 3s for us in the fourth quarter.”
Hazeltine could not stress the importance of her team’s defense.
“Our defense was the key,” Hazeltine said. “They had kids that hurt us the last time.”
Including Katie Krammerer, who scored 19 points in the previous meeting. On Saturday, she accounted for just three points on 1-for-15 shooting — 1-of-9 from 3-point range.
“We made her work for her shots,” Hazeltine said. “She never got a wide open look. We did a nice job. Kate and Cierra Jo defended her the most. Both girls (understood) what we wanted.
“It was a good win after losing to them in overtime.”