|Team: Basketball (Girls)|
Front Row (left to right): Ashleigh Heiman (Manager), Lacey Golden, Jennifer Russell, George Reddick (Manager).
Second Row (left to right): Adrienne Johnson, Chelsey DePeel, Nikki DePeel, De'Chaunna Skinner, Ashley Garcia, Kayla Akers.
Back Row (left to right): Steve Perez (Assistant Coach), Brittany Bond, Kristin Mead, Evan Woodward (Head Coach), Brittney Quick, Shana Fredrickson, Bret Akers (Assistant Coach).
The Falcon Boys and Girls Basketball teams both won the Mid-Valley League District Championships. The last time this occurred was 1981. Both teams did it by beating the West Valley-Yakima Rams. The boys went to double overtime before squeaking out a 43-39 victory. The girls squeaked out a one point win, 45-44, with the outcome in doubt till the final buzzer sounded. The last District Championship for the girls was 1997, which is the last year they have appeared at the State Tournament. This is the boys second consecutive District Championship.www.hanfordfalconboosters.com. I will post the times as soon as they are available. A summary of the game is provided below.
Brittany Quick's basket with 22 seconds left lifted the Hanford girls to a 45-44 victory Saturday over West Valley in the Mid-Valley League district championship game.
The Falcons, who earlier this year snapped WV's 37-game MVL winning streak, captured their first district title since 1997 in the final year of the league's existence. Hanford will join the Big Nine 3A next year.
Hanford will play host to Greater Spokane League runner-up East Valley in the first round of the 3A Eastern Regionals. The date and time have yet to be determined as both Falcons teams and the Richland boys are scheduled to play home postseason games on Tuesday night.
Quick took a feed from Nikki DePeel and was fouled on the go-ahead basket. She missed the free throw, and West Valley raced down and set up a play for Seattle University signee Cassidy Murillo.
Murillo drove the lane but missed an off-balance shot, and the rebound bounced to halfcourt as time expired.
Murillo, who averaged 17.5 points per game during the regular season, scored just 13 on 3-of-16 shooting while being guarded primarily by Hanford senior Kayla Akers.
"Kayla's job tonight was to shut her down," said Falcons coach Evan Woodward. "But it was a big team effort to defend her tonight."
DePeel led the Falcons with 13 points.
Ashleigh Garcia 2, Kayla Akers 11, Lacey Golden, Adrienne Johnson, Nikki DePeel 13, Chelsey DePeel 1, Jennifer Russell, Kristin Mead, De'Chauna Skinner 6, Shana Fredrickson 4, Brittany Quick 8. Totals 14-32 14-22 45.
WEST VALLEY (44)
Cassidy Murillo 13, Brittany Murillo 3, Nikki Roux, Liz Tikriti 4, Karli Thomas 2, Sydney Smart 12, Katie Hawkins 10, Erin Richardson. Totals 13-44 15-20 44.
Hanford 8 11 12 14 -- 45
West Valley 10 11 9 14 -- 44
West Valley coach Jason Rubright paced with his head down, tie in hand, outside a locker room filled with 12 very disappointed members of the girls basketball team.
On the West Valley gym floor, Hanford was celebrating a 45-44 win in Saturday's Mid-Valley League District Championship game. The loss left Rubright needing a few minutes to let the emotion of the moment pass and allow more rational thoughts to enter his head.
"You need to make sure you're sending the right messages to the kids," said Rubright of his post-game timeout. "No. 1, the season is not over. No. 2, we're a good team. No. 3, our most important basketball is ahead of us."
The break was understandable. Rubright and his girls haven't been in a situation like this before. Eyeing all the placards on the gym wall toting the Rams' achievements over the years, West Valley athletic director Joe Coscarart estimated that they hadn't lost the district championship in nine years.
Still, Rubright's third point might ring most true for West Valley (15-7 overall). While the Rams are no longer the defending district champions, their season is far from finished. As the district's No. 2 seed, West Valley will travel to take on Clarkston at 6 p.m. Tuesday in the Eastern Regional.
The Rams will have until then to forget the second loss Hanford (18-4) has handed them at home this season. The Falcons ended the Rams' 37-game Mid-Valley winning streak on Feb. 8 with a 44-42 victory at West Valley.
"Anytime you go against West Valley they just have such talented athletes that you know it's just going to be a war," said Hanford coach Evan Woodward, who was coaching his first District Championship game in his five years with the program. "I give them a lot of credit; on their home court they really fight for that win.
"It's tough to beat West Valley once at home let alone twice."
The first loss had a lot of similarities to Saturday's game a tough, gritty defensive battle where both teams bottled each other up with strong man-to-man defense.
Trailing 31-30 heading into the fourth, the Rams lost their shooting touch, going 1 of 10 from the field in the final quarter. They hit 11 of 14 free throws to stay in the game and trailed 44-39 with 1 minute, 29 seconds remaining.
West Valley's Cassidy Murillo, who had been struggling for most of the game with only five points in the first three quarters, pulled out of her funk in the fourth with eight points to finish with a team-high 13. She also knocked down a long 3-pointer with 1:17 remaining to pull the Rams within one, 43-42.
After West Valley forced Hanford into its 18th turnover of the night on the ensuing possession, Sydney Smart knocked down two free throws to give her 12 points and put the Rams ahead 44-43 with 33.6 seconds left. But Nikki DePeel, who led Hanford with 13 points, penetrated and found Brittany Quick inside for an easy basket to set up the final score.
With only 22.3 seconds remaining, the Falcons did a good job keeping West Valley off balance and the ball out of Murillo's hands. The senior guard got off only one shot that clanked off the iron.
"(The Falcons have) done a good job of really being physical and limiting us offensively," Rubright said. "Every shot Cassidy was taking she had two people on her making sure it was a tough shot. We needed other people to step up."
Katie Hawkins was the only other Ram in double figures with 10 points. Kayla Akers rounded out the Hanford scorers in double figures with 11.
HANFORD Garcia 2, Kayla Akers 11, Golden 0, Nikki DePeel 13, C. DePeel 1, Mead 0, Skinner 6, Fredrickson 4, Quick 8, Johnson 0. Totals 14-39 14-22.
WEST VALLEY Cassidy Murillo 13, B. Murillo 3, Roux 0, Tikriti 4, Thomas 2, Sydney Smart 12, Katie Hawkins 10, Richardson 0. Totals 13-47 15-20.
Hanford 8 11 12 14 45
West Valley 10 11 9 14 44
3-point field goals: Hanford 3 for 7 (Akers 2-4, N. DePeel 1-1, Johnson 0-2), West Valley 3 for 10 (2-6, B. Murillo 1-1, Roux 0-1, Thomas 0-1, Smart 0-1). Rebounds Hanford 25 (Fredrickson 6), West Valley 20 (Hawkins 6, Tikriti 6). Total fouls: Han 18, WV 20. Fouled out: none.
MID-VALLEY LEAGUE DISTRICT TOURNAMENT RESULTS
February 14 Results
Game #1: Prosser 54, Sunnyside 45
Game #2: Ellensburg 69, Wapato 39
February 16 Results
Game #3: Sunnyside 64, Wapato 49 (5th Seed, loser out)
Game #5: Hanford 62, Ellensburg 55
February 17 Results
Game #4: West Valley-Yakima 53, Prosser 43
February 18 Results
Game #6: Ellensburg 77, Prosser 55 (Winner is 3rd seed and loser is 4th Seed to Regional Tournament)
Game #7: Hanford 45, West Valley-Yakima 44 (Winner is 1st seed and loser is 2nd Seed to Regional Tournament)
GREATER SPOKANE LEAGUE DISTRICT TOURNAMENT RESULTS
February 15 Results
Game #A (Tie-breaker): North Central 55, West Valley (Spokane Valley) 42 (Winner is the Greater Spokane League 4th Seed for the Regional Tournament)
February 16 Results
Game #1: Clarkston Bantams 52, East Valley-Spokane Knights 48 (1st Seed to Regional Tournament)
February 17 Results
Game #2: Cheney Blackhawks 33, North Central Indians 28 (loser out).
February 18 Resukts
Game #3: East Valley-Spokane Knights 37, Cheney Blackhawks 30 (Winner 2nd seed, loser 3rd seed to Regional Tournament)