Willapa Valley utilized balanced scoring and decent shooting to defeat Raymond in an early battle for first place in the Pacific League. The Vikings won 52-41 Friday night at Seagull Gym.
With the win, Valley upped its season mark to 11-2, and the Vikes are 5-0 in the league, while RHS slipped to 7-5 and 4-1.
“I think the game was won in the first quarter,” Willapa Valley HS Head Girls' Basketball Coach Matt Bannish told the Herald. “It was pretty evenly matched after that.”
Valley led 19-10 after one quarter and built up a 17-point lead in the second half before RHS cut the deficit to six points with 2:30 left in the game.
“We are much better team playing in transition than playing half court basketball, which is definitely an area we need to improve,” Bannish said. “Give Raymond credit for coming back from a 17-point deficit. They made the game very interesting at the end. We knew it would be a tough game and are happy with the rivalry win.
“Sydney Wilkeson (7 pts, 2 blocks) gave us excellent minutes off the bench,” Bannish said.
Karli Friese led the Vikes' attack with 13 points, followed by Lauren Friese (9pts, 6 assists), Alicia Smaciarz (9 pts), and Brooke Harden 98 pts, 7 rebs).
Valley committed 17 turnovers.
“We played great defense (and) I was proud of our kids,” said RHS head coach Jon Schray.
Vikings 57, NW Christian 33
Willapa Valley bombed Northwest Christian 57-33 at Tenoski Gym in Menlo last Tuesday (Jan. 7). Karli Friese led the slaughter with 16 points. “This was a good home win for us,” Coach Bannish said. “The game was closer than the final score. Northwest Christian played really aggressive defense and we had some trouble handling their pressure.”
Harden had another solid game with 10 rebounds, 8 points and 2 blocks. Lauren Friese turned in another complete game with 9 points, 8 rebounds and 6 assists. Smaciarz scored 8 points and Megan Sanaski came up with 5 steals.
Valley outscored Christian 39-18 in the last three quarters.
The Vikes visit South Bend Thursday, and then come home to host Naselle Friday (moved from Saturday) and Ocosta Tuesday. The Naselle game will be part of a co-ed doubleheader with the Comets. Game times are boys' JV's at 5 PM (6-minute quarters), Girl's Varsity 20 minutes after the boys' JV's, and Boy's Varsity 20 minutes after the Girl's game.