Basketball: Split shift for Yakima Valley

February 23, 2012 by  

YVCC women rout Spokane, while men fall just short ||

YAKIMA, Wash. — With 12:10 to play in the Yakima Valley women’s game Wednesday night, Ariah Gonzales got the ball to the right of the key and made a perfect bounce pass.

Right to a Spokane player.

Yakima Valley Community College's Simone Jordan runs into Spokane's Emily Abbott, left, and Breeana Wilson as she drives to the basket in the first half of their Feb. 22, 2012 game. YVCC won 81-43. (Gordon King/Yakima Herald-Republic)



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Since the Yaks were 43 points ahead at that juncture, Gonzales was allowed a semi-embarrassed smile and said, “Wow.”

And YVCC would roll unimpeded to an 81-43 East Region victory.

Had Yakima Valley’s men gotten one such break, meanwhile, a raucous celebration would have ensued in Sherar Gym. As it was, the Yaks rallied from a 17-point deficit midway through the second half to take their first lead in the final half minute, only to fall 73-72 to the NWAACC’s fourth-ranked Sasquatch.

“Tough one to swallow,” said YVCC coach Ray Funk, whose squad had been routed in its earlier meeting at Spokane. “The guys battled and played really hard. I just wish we could have made one more play.”

While both Yakima Valley teams have already qualified for the NWAACC Tournament, scheduled for March 3-6 in Kennewick, a men’s upset would have given Funk’s charges a shot at the region’s top seed pending a regular-season ending Saturday home win against Walla Walla.

Wednesday’s contest featured a stellar 19-point, 15-rebound performance from Dabrail Henton while Amir Royal scored 11 of his 17 points in the final 2:42.

YVCC (9-4 region, 16-9 overall), down 58-41 with 10:03 to play, still trailed 71-57 with 4:46 left before the Royal and Henton-led onslaught.

The Yaks’ scoring leader at 17.13 points a game, Royal converted a fast-break layup off a steal by Johnnie Diggs, rebounded a Spokane miss and went coast-to-coast for another hoop and followed with his lone 3-pointer of the night.

That made it 71-68 with 1:53 to play, after which Erik Martinez hauled in another errant Sasquatch shot, was fouled and made two free throws at 1:15.

Henton came up empty on a steal and layup attempt, but Jason Bagby gathered in another defensive board and connected with Royal for a breakaway hoop that gave YVCC its first lead, 72-71 with 24.6 seconds left.

After a timeout, Spokane hustled the ball into the frontcourt against a Yakima Valley press and Preston Wynne missed a baseline drive. Luke Evans, his 6-8 teammate, was there for the mid-air putback, however, and the Yaks called time with 15.2 ticks to play.

With the clock winding down, DeShawn Battle drove the right side but was unable to score on a heavily-pressured runner and Evans rebounded to end it.

Diggs had 12 points for YVCC, which was minus forward Dallin Molina due to illness. Evans totaled 15 points and 11 rebounds to lead the Sasquatch (10-2, 21-4), who won despite 37 percent shooting.

Wynne, averaging 23.3 points, managed 11 on 2 of 16 shooting and DeAngelo Jones, a 16.6 scorer, did not play for undisclosed reasons.

“The encouraging thing was,” Funk said, “was this was a tournament-type game and the guys handled it reasonably well. So maybe we can get down there, get everyone healthy and make a run.”

YVCC’s women (10-3, 20-6) have several returnees from their NWAACC titlists of last year and were impressive in Wednesday’s romp.

Brittney Newcomb and Simone Jordan scored early and often, finishing with 18 and 17 points, respectively, and Ashley Swetzof made the most of her 23 reserve minutes by tallying a game-high 22.

“There were a lot of encouraging things in this game,” said Yaks coach Cody Butler, whose team led 46-18 at halftime and 65-22 with 12 minutes left. “We started well, which this team has had trouble with all year, and I think the players are becoming more comfortable with their roles.”

Which for Newcomb and Jordan primarily mean scoring.

“We’re fine with that,” said Jordan. “Our teammates are looking for Brittney and I and getting the ball to us in positions where we like to get it, and where it best suits our team.”

Said Newcomb, who teamed with Jordan to total nine steals, “Cody is always telling the girls to get the ball in our hands, and then it’s up to Simone and I to produce. But I think we’ve made a lot of progress as a team since the start of the season.”

Spokane (1-11, 6-17) shot only 28 percent (12 for 43), was outrebounded 42-28 and committed 30 turnovers.


SPOKANE — Humphrey 1-3 4-4 6, Buttrey 108 0-0 3, Tareski 0-0 0-0 0, Hicks 2-5 0-0 6, Jacobs 1-3 2-2 5, Wilson 2-9 2-2 6, Tullis 3-4 2-2 8, Brons 1-3 2-2 4, Cook 0-1 0-0 0, Elwin 0-4 3-6 3, Abbott 1-3 0-0 2. Totals 12-43 15-18 43.

YAKIMA VALLEY — Brittney Newcomb 7-15 1-1 18, Cox 0-4 0-0 0, Ashley Swetzof 9-17 1-2 22, K. Gonzales 2-5 1-2 5, Weaver 0-5 2-2 2, Lekson 2-5 0-0 5, Simone Jordan 6-8 4-4 17, Smythe 0-2 0-0 0, Zapien 1-4 4-4 6, A. Gonzales 3-3 0-0 6. Totals 30-68 13-15 81.

Halftime: Yakima Valley 46, Spokane 18.

3-point goals: Spokane 4-22 (Hicks 2-3, Jacobs 1-3, Buttrey 1-7), Yakima Valley 8-18 (Swetzof 3-5, Newcomb 3-6, Jordan 1-1, Lekson 1-3). Rebounds: Spokane 28 (Wilson 8), Yakima Valley 42 (A. Gonzales 5, Lekson 4, K. Gonzales 4, Cox 4). Total fouls: Spokane 10, Yakima Valley 18. Turnovers: Spokane 30, Yakima Valley 16.


SPOKANE — Edwards 2-5 0-0 5, Preston Wynne 2-16 7-8 11, Harvey 0-1 0-0 0, Eric Holbrook 4-8 0-0 11, Pettersen 2-3 4-6 9, Bagby 3-10 2-2 8, Frisbie 2-4 1-1 5, Luke Evans 6-12 2-2 15, Brim 4-9 1-2 9. Totals 25-68 17-21 73.

YAKIMA VALLEY — Johnnie Diggs 2-10 8-12 12, Battle 3-11 2-2 8, Amir Royal 7-18 2-4 17, Martinez 1-4 3-3 5, Bagby 3-7 1-3 7, Dabrail Henton 7-19 4-4 19, Jensen 1-4 0-0 2, Romero 1-2 0-0 2, Flowers 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 25-75 20-28 72.

Halftime: Spokane 36, Yakima Valley 28.

3-point goals: Spokane 6-22 (Holbrook 3-5, Pettersen 1-2, Evans 1-2, Edwards 1-3), Yakima Valley 2-14 (Henton 1-4, Royal 1-4). Rebounds: Spokane 51 (Evans 11, Brim 8, Pettersen 7), Yakima Valley 49 (Henton 12, Royal 8, Bagby 7). Total fouls: Spokane 22, Yakima Valley 14. Turnovers: Spokane 12, Yakima Valley 7.

Filed under All, Featured Stories, YVCC Basketball (M), YVCC Basketball (W)

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