Archive for the ‘Wolves in college’ Category

   Sophomore Makana Stone went for nine points and nine rebounds Saturday as Whitman won on Senior Night. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

They found their way back.

Rescuing what could have been a lost weekend, the Whitman College women’s basketball team exploded in the second-half Saturday to bury visiting Linfield.

Rallying from a five-point halftime deficit, while All-American Casey Poe suffered through a 2-11 shooting night, the Blues poured in 54 points after the break, nabbing an 82-71 win.

The victory, coming in the regular-season finale, snaps a two-game skid and lifts Whitman to 14-2 in Northwest Conference play, 22-3 overall.

The Blues, busy with their own game, didn’t know about it at the time, but they also came within a play of earning a share of the league title.

That slipped away however, when George Fox gunner Haylee Hutzler sank two free throws with five seconds to go in Newberg, OR, helping the Bruins nip Pacific 60-59.

Avoiding what would have been a monumental upset, George Fox (15-1, 22-3) enters the four-team NWC tourney seeded #1 and will host #4 Lewis & Clark (9-7, 14-11) Feb. 22.

#2 Whitman hosts #3 Willamette (12-4, 16-9) the same night, with the winners playing for the title Feb. 24 on the home court of the highest-surviving seed.

Back-to-back losses to George Fox and Willamette, the latter coming less than 24 hours ago, derailed what had been a 21-game winning streak for the Blues.

Cold shooting was a huge liability Friday, and things didn’t look much better as the early moments of Saturday’s match-up played out.

Poe opened 0-3 from the floor, picked up two quick fouls and spent almost the entire first half on the bench.

While Coupeville grad Makana Stone was a beast on the boards, hauling down five caroms in the opening minutes, her team could not get a shot to drop.

Still, despite shooting just 3-14 in the first 10 minutes, Whitman only trailed 13-12 at the first break.

Playing without Poe, the Blues hung tough in the second quarter, but a three-ball with five seconds to play from Paige Graham staked Linfield to a 33-28 bulge at the half.

Whatever was said in the locker room quickly bore fruit, however, as Whitman more than doubled its point total with a 31-19 surge in the third.

From there the Blues ruthlessly pushed the lead out to as many as 16, before coasting in for the win.

While it was Senior Night, with Whitman honoring Poe, Emily Rommel and Sierra McGarity, the star of the game was freshman Taylor Chambers, who poured in 16 of her game-high 24 in the second half.

Rommel added 15, while Stone racked up nine points, nine boards, four assists, two steals and a block before blind refs fouled her out in the game’s final 90 seconds.

For the season, she has 317 points (#2 on the team), 177 rebounds (#1), 48 assists, five blocks and 18 steals.

Stone is shooting 53% from the floor (135-254) and 77% from the free-throw line (47-61).

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   Makana Stone netted a game-high eight rebounds Friday in a tough loss to Willamette. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Britanny Kochenderfer just drove a huge spike through the hearts of Whitman College women’s basketball fans.

The Willamette University junior, who entered play Friday shooting 39.2% on the season, got red-hot and may have shot the Blues out of being league champs.

With Kochenderfer raining down 24 points, on 9-12 shooting, including 3-3 from behind the arc, the visiting Bearcats shocked a cold-shooting Whitman squad 62-55.

The loss, the second-straight for the Blues after they put together a 21-game winning streak, drops Whitman to 13-2 in Northwest Conference play, 21-3 overall.

The news gets worse for Whitman, as their biggest rival, George Fox, took care of business Friday, shredding Lewis & Clark 81-58.

With the win, the Bruins move to 14-1, go a game up on Whitman with one to play and clinch at least a tie for the league title.

The Blues, who split two games with George Fox, need a perfect finale Saturday to gain part of the regular-season league title.

Whitman needs to bounce Linfield (5-10, 9-15), while hoping Pacific (4-11, 5-18) can somehow pull off a miracle against George Fox (14-1, 21-3).

Regardless of whether they finish first or second, the Blues host a playoff game Feb. 22 in Walla Walla.

The top four teams in the nine-team league advance to the postseason, with the winners in the semis facing off Feb. 24 in the title game.

If Whitman is the #2 seed, they get a rematch with Willamette (11-4, 15-9), which is locked in to the #3 seed.

George Fox, at #1, would face either Lewis & Clark (8-7, 13-11) or Puget Sound (7-8, 12-12), which play Saturday for the #4 seed.

After that comes the NCAA D-III women’s national tourney, where Whitman made it to the Elite Eight a season ago.

Friday night, the Blues could not get the ball to stay in the basket, shooting an icy 30% from the floor in the first half.

With their big two, senior All-American Casey Poe and sophomore Makana Stone, a combined 2-14 at the break, and Willamette torching the nets to a 56% tune, Whitman trailed 34-24.

Things got slightly better in the second half, as the shooting numbers finished at 50%-36%, but that wasn’t a big enough change for Whitman to make any huge rallies.

Every time the Blues made a mini-run, such as cutting the lead back to seven headed into the fourth, Willamette responded.

The Bearcats opened the fourth quarter with a 6-0 surge, while holding the Blues scoreless for five minutes-plus, and led 57-44 with 4:53 to play.

Whitman closed the game on an 11-5 run, but could never quite get over the hump.

Stone, the former Coupeville star, hauled down a game-high eight rebounds but was held to a season-low two points.

Heading into the regular-season finale Saturday, she is Whitman’s #2 scorer (308 points) and #1 rebounder (168 boards), while also dishing out 44 assists, rejecting four shots and making off with 16 steals.

Stone is shooting 53% from the floor (131-247) and 78% from the free-throw line (46-59) this season.

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   Kailey Kellner (right), hanging with former Coupeville teammate Tiffany Briscoe, is nearing the end of her first season of college basketball. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

She’s killin’ it to the end.

Taking advantage of whatever floor time she gets, former Wolf hoops star Kailey Kellner continues to be one of the bright spots during a topsy-turvy season for the D’Youville College women’s basketball squad.

Kellner has appeared in all 24 games this season for the Spartans, starting six, and is one of just six players on a 15-woman roster to have seen action every night.

Wednesday night D’Youville, unable to hold on to an early lead, fell 77-48 to visiting Medialle College.

With one game left on the schedule — a road trip Saturday to Pennsylvania to face La Roche College — the Spartans are 4-13 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 5-19 overall.

D’Youville struck early against Medialle, claiming a 15-14 lead at the first break, thanks to a solid bit of work late in the quarter from its fab frosh.

Kellner picked up a pair of assists, setting up Monica June on a three-ball and Darian Evans on a layup, while also finding the bottom of the net on a jumper of her own.

The Spartans couldn’t hold on after that, however, slipping behind 34-25 at the half against a Medialle team fighting for third-place in the 10-team league.

From there the Mavericks stretched the lead out to 51-35 after three quarters, before coasting in for the victory.

For the season, Kellner has racked up 57 points, 61 rebounds, 26 assists, five blocks and nine steals.

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   Makana Stone scored 16 points Saturday, but Whitman’s 21-game winning streak was snapped by George Fox. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was nice while it lasted.

Despite a 16-point, seven-rebound performance Saturday from Coupeville grad Makana Stone, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad lost for the first time in nearly three months.

Unable to recover from a late-game run by host George Fox University, the Blues fell 80-68, snapping their 21-game winning streak.

Whitman, now 13-1 in Northwest Conference play, 21-2 overall, hadn’t lost since its season opener way back on Nov. 15.

With the win, George Fox (13-1, 20-3) earned a season split with the Blues, garnered revenge for a loss in mid-Jan. and moved into a first-place tie.

Both teams have two regular-season games remaining next weekend.

Whitman hosts Willamette University (10-4) Friday and Linfield College (5-9) Saturday while George Fox hosts Lewis & Clark College (8-6) and Pacific University (3-11).

While they’re still fighting for the league title, Whitman and George Fox have clinched the top two slots and will host the league’s postseason tourney semifinal games Feb. 22.

Saturday’s battle royal came down to free throws (George Fox made 29 to Whitman’s 14), foul trouble for the Blues and one decisive fourth-quarter surge by the host squad.

After battling back from eight points down at the first break, Whitman regained the lead in the third quarter behind Stone.

The former Wolf had been locked to the bench for much of the first half after picking up two fouls, but the sophomore sensation came flying out of the halftime locker room to throw down eight points in the third quarter.

The game was still up for grabs with George Fox clinging to a 61-60 lead with seven minutes to play, but then every Whitman player not wearing #23 (Stone’s number) went ice-cold from the field.

The Bruins, taking full advantage of numerous trips to the free throw line, went on a 19-6 surge, with Stone the only Blue able to score.

With her 16-point performance, Stone passed two milestones — 300 points on the season and 500 for her career.

She sits with 306 and 514 respectively, with a first-quarter put-back off of an offensive rebound the bucket which gave her the second mark.

On the season, she’s Whitman’s second-leading scorer and top rebounder (160), while also having compiled 43 assists, four blocks and 16 steals.

Stone is shooting 55% from the floor (130 of 236) and 78% from the line (46-59).

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   Coupeville grad Kailey Kellner has played in all 22 games as a freshman at D’Youville College. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Fight till the end.

With their playoff hopes all but extinguished and trailing by 30 heading into the fourth quarter Wednesday, the D’Youville College women’s basketball squad could have easily given up.

Instead, the plucky Spartans, and Coupeville grad Kailey Kellner, fought back, carving away more than a third of their deficit with a 19-8 surge to close the game.

Time ran out, though, and D’Youville fell 61-42 to host Hilbert College, dropping the Spartans to 4-11 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 5-17 overall.

The Spartans, stuck in ninth-place in the 10-team league, sit three games back of the final playoff spot with three to play.

Hilbert (14-1, 17-5) is atop the conference and closing in on a league title.

Kellner, a freshman, came off the bench to play 18 minutes Wednesday, tossing in a pair of free throws, snagging five rebounds (second-best on the team) and rejecting a Hilbert shot.

For the season, she has 53 points, 57 rebounds, 24 assists, five blocks and eight steals.

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