NWAACC Championships - Round 1
12:00 p.m. - Lane 71 – Yakima Valley 54 [stats]
In a battle between two NWAACC giants, Yakima Valley hung around for a half before falling away and yielding to Lane, who moves on to the second round of the championship tournament with a 71-54 victory.
An exciting first half saw eight lead changes and three ties, swinging first one way, then the next. Lane went on a 7-0 run to take a four point lead after just over four minutes of play in the first half. Yakima Valley, however, turned things around and grabbed a slim lead on a pair of free throws from Sammi Jo Blodgett less than three minutes later, which evaporated on Lane's next possession.
With nine minutes left in the half, both teams were tied at 15. That's when Yakima went ice cold. They wouldn't score for the next five and a half minutes, a stretch in which Lane put together a run and went up six. Yakima finally found the bottom of the bucket, but Lane held the advantage at the half, 26-21.
In the second half, things turned a little more in Lane's favor. Three minutes in, the lead was ten at 35-25. Yakima fought back, but Lane responded and pushed their advantage out to 11 after six minutes of second half play.
Behind a greatly improved shooting percentage, Lane managed to hold off Yakima every time they advanced, having an answer for each and every challenge, eventually getting out by 17, their final advantage.
Megan Shields led all scores with 19 points, three blocked shots. Shields was 9/13 from the free throw line, part of an impressive 30/44 for the game against Yakima, who managed only 18 attempts. Lane also won while being outrebounded by 12, but had the edge in points off turnovers 23 to 10.
Lane moves on to take on the winner of the Centralia vs Peninsula game on Sunday at 4 p.m.
Yakima drops to the consolation bracket and awaits the loser of the Centralia-Peninsula match up at 10 a.m. on Sunday morning.