It took a half, but the Black Hills girls basketball team found its rhythm on Friday at the 2A basketball state tournament.
And when they did, they rolled. The sixth-ranked Wolves shook off their sluggish start and ran away from Wapato, 58-38 in the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Black Hills will play Lynden, last season’s champion, on Saturday at 8 a.m. in the fourth and sixth place game.
“Everyone wants to play for first or second, but the truth of the matter is these teams are good. It’s very respectable to come home with some hardware,” Wolves coach Tanya Greenfield said.
“We were focused before the game, we just couldn’t get into our offensive flow until we changed some things at halftime.”
And change they did. After scoring just five first quarter points and shooting 25 percent from the field during the first half, the Wolves scored 41 points after intermission on a combination of fast break layups and inside baskets by junior forward Maisy Williams, who led Black Hills with 17 points.
Wapato’s intense man-to-man defense had a lot to do with the Wolves slow start and Black Hills (20-6) adjusting to make use of its physical advantages later had everything to do with its late rally.
“They had their hands in every passing lane, every catch. They were all over us,” said Wolves coach Tanya Greenfield of Wapato’s aggressive approach. “They made great rotations, so we had to figure that out.”
Black Hills took an early 5-2 lead, but Wapato (21-4) scored six straight to end the first quarter with the lead and did something similar in the second period. The Wolves got up, 15-10, but Wapato rallied to tie it 17-17 at intermission on a buzzer-beating 3-pointer by Janealle Sutterlict, who finished with a game-high 18 points.
During the second half, Black Hills shot 55 percent and scored on six fast break layups. Even more effective was the play of Williams, who tallied 14 of her points after the break. Scoring on a mixture of drives from the foul line, post ups and free throws, Williams vocally called for the ball a number of times.
“We’ve been waiting for that to happen,” said Greenfield. “We had mismatches all over the floor. We had to take advantage of them.”
Williams was the only Black Hills player to reach double figures, but Megan River and Saleen Lee each had eight and both Jordyn Bender and Lindsey Nurmi six. Williams led in rebounds with eight and blocked four Wapato shots.
Black Hills 58, Wapato 38
Wapato 8 9 14 7 – 38
Black Hills 5 12 20 21 – 58
WAPATO – Sutterlict 18, Gonzalez 2, J. Garza 2, Hickey 5, Contreras, Aleck 11, Martinez, Rivera, A. Garza, Eagle-Olney, Estrada, Alvarado.
BH – Williams 17, River 8, Bender 6, Nurmi 6, Greenfield 3, S.Lee 8, Carson, Zeldenrust, M. Lee, Sayahod 5, Serhan 2, Bovenkamp 3.