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Kailey Kellner rains death from above. (Photo courtesy Jennifer Kellner)

Shake up the lineup, shake up the results.

The D’Youville College women’s basketball team has seven players who have appeared in every game this season, but two of those hadn’t made a start.

That changed Monday, as the Spartans plugged Hanna Wozniak and Coupeville’s Kailey Kellner into the starting lineup, and suddenly got a different result.

Sparked by a huge fourth-quarter three-ball off the fingertips of the former Wolf gunner, D’Youville pulled away late to stuff visiting Medialle 84-71 and keep alive its playoff hopes.

The win, which lifts the Spartans to 6-10 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 9-14 overall, snaps a three-game losing skid. D’Youville had dropped seven of its last nine.

With the victory, Kellner and Co. stay a game back of the final postseason berth, with two regular season games to go.

D’Youville hits the road Wednesday to face league leader Hilbert (13-3, 18-5) in Hamburg, NY, before closing at home in Buffalo Saturday on Senior Night against cellar-dweller Franciscan (2-14, 2-20).

The decision to switch up the starting lineup paid big dividends for the Spartans coaching staff, especially when it came to Kellner.

She scored in three of four quarters, finishing with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and a steal in 23 minutes of action.

Kellner struck early and late, and the #30 scorer in CHS girls basketball history used her trademark long bombs to do much of the damage.

D’Youville fell behind early, but got back in the game when Kellner kicked off an 8-0 run midway through the first quarter.

Splashing home a three-ball, the former Wolf pulled the Spartans to within 8-6, and that set off a tense back-and-forth affair through much of the game.

Trailing 21-19 at the first break, D’Youville forced a 39-39 tie at the half, before closing the third with the slimmest of leads at 56-55.

The Spartans had busted out to a 10-point lead in the third, only to give it all back, and Medialle actually surged ahead briefly in the fourth quarter.

Enter Kellner, who was sitting with five points after adding a third-quarter layup to her tally.

Operating behind the arc, where she lives to drop daggers, she rippled the net with her second trey of the night, staking the Spartans to a 61-58 lead they wouldn’t surrender over the game’s final six minutes.

Kellner slapped home a layup to stretch the lead out to six points with 3:32 on the clock.

After that, D’Youville, which finished with five players with double-digit scoring, closed the win by hitting its free throws down the stretch.

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Makana Stone tossed in 19 points Saturday as Whitman slipped past Linfield for a key league win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The big three were on fire, and sometimes that’s all you need.

Getting 20 points from Mady Burdett, 19 from Coupeville’s Makana Stone, and a double-double from lone senior Maegan Martin, the Whitman College women’s basketball team rolled to a nice bounce-back win.

Knocking off visiting Linfield 72-63 Saturday on Senior Night, the Blues earned a split for the weekend and kept alive hopes of winning a Northwest Conference title.

With the victory, Whitman soars to 12-2 in league play, 18-5 overall, and stays a game back of George Fox (13-1, 20-3) with two regular-season games left on the schedule.

The Blues travel to Tacoma next weekend, where they will play Puget Sound and Pacific Lutheran.

After that comes the four-team NWC tournament, and, most likely, a bid to the NCAA D-III national tournament.

Saturday, Whitman had to bounce right back after a tough four-point loss to George Fox, and the Blues didn’t disappoint.

Burdett and Stone came out firing in the first quarter, combining for 19 points as Whitman built a 26-18 lead.

Coupeville’s progeny hit a pair of buckets off of quick slashes to the hoop, packaged around a solid turnaround jumper, while Burdett went wild from behind the three-point arc.

Tossing in a trio of treys, she finished with 13 points across the first 10 minutes.

After that, the teams settled into a fairly taut game, with just a single point separating the two squads across the final three quarters.

But, while Linfield held even with Whitman in the second (11-11) and fourth (16-16) quarters, and trailed just 19-18 in the third, the Blues never surrendered the lead.

Stone, who wasn’t bothered by any pesky reffing blunders on this night, poured in points in every quarter.

A layup and a jumper that popped up, hit the glass and rattled back in, gave her 10 at the half, then the former Wolf added a pair of buckets in the third before closing with five fourth-quarter points to blunt a late Linfield rally.

Flying down court on the kind of run CHS fans saw every day, Stone pulled in a pass off a Martin steal, beating the crowd to the bucket to stake Whitman to a 61-56 lead with five minutes to play.

Right after that, Martin put together her own mini highlight reel, raining down a rare (for her) three-ball, followed by a bucket in the paint, stretching the margin back out to double digits.

Stone capped things with a final bucket, banging away down low, uprooting her defender, then whirling and banking home a short jumper.

She snatched five rebounds and dealt out an assist to go with her 19 points (on 9-12 shooting), while Martin celebrated her regular-season home swan song with 11 points and 10 rebounds.

On the season, Stone sits with 332 points, 186 rebounds, 39 assists, 25 steals and 18 blocks.

She’s shooting 141-269 from the floor and 49-64 at the free throw line.

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Kailey Kellner (right), seen with Coupeville teammate Tiffany Briscoe, scored seven points Saturday in a college hoops game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Given the chance, Kailey Kellner is contributing.

The Coupeville High School grad, like many of her D’Youville College women’s basketball teammates, has seen her minutes wildly fluctuate this season.

Saturday was one of the better times, as Kellner was on the floor for 18 minutes, giving her time to drop in seven points, deal out two assists and snag a rebound.

It wasn’t quite enough to save her team, however, as a terrible third quarter doomed the Spartans in an 89-55 loss at Penn State-Altoona.

The defeat drops D’Youville to 5-10 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 8-14 overall, and makes its pursuit of a postseason berth that much harder.

The Spartans sit in eighth-place in the 10-team league, and only six squads get to punch their ticket to the playoffs.

With just three games left, and one against league-leading Hilbert, it will be an uphill climb for D’Youville.

Saturday, the Spartans fell behind 19-10 after one quarter, and 39-26 at the half, but it was a 30-9 third quarter which hit like an avalanche.

D’Youville played its best ball in the fourth, coming away with a 20-20 tie as Kellner scored five of her seven points in the final frame.

She swished a pair of free throws early, before closing the game with a vintage three-ball.

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Coupeville grad Kailey Kellner swished a pair of three-balls Wednesday in a college basketball game. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Shooters gotta shoot, but rebounders gotta rebound, too.

Coupeville grad Kailey Kellner did her part Wednesday, dropping in a pair of long three-balls, but her D’Youville College women’s basketball teammates couldn’t keep their rivals off the boards at the end and it killed them.

Penn State-Behrend only held a 40-37 rebound advantage at game’s end in Erie, Pennsylvania, but grabbed boards when it mattered most in the final three minutes.

That allowed the host Lions to keep returning to the foul line, and Penn State closed the game on an 8-0 surge, winning a key league game 66-61.

The loss drops D’Youville to 5-9 in Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference play, 8-13 overall.

With just four games left in the regular season, the Spartans are still scrapping for a playoff berth, but watching their postseason ticket slip further away.

D’Youville sits in 8th place in a 10-team league, a game-and-a-half out of 6th, which is where the playoff cut is made.

Kellner and Co. stay in Pennsylvania for now, and will play Penn State-Altoona Saturday afternoon.

After that, the Spartans close with two of their last three at home.

Wednesday’s match-up in Erie, just a short 2,558.9-mile trip from where Kellner played high school ball, offered a prime chance for D’Youville to make a positive move in the standings.

The Spartans rolled out an early 19-14 lead after one quarter of play, then surged to a double-digits lead midway through the second frame.

Kellner, after snagging a defensive rebound, came down and torched Penn State for a trey which stretched the margin to 26-16.

Things got dicier after that, however, as the Lions crawled back into the game, pulling within five at the half, and getting all the way back to just a basket behind after three quarters.

With the action going back-and-forth, Kellner hauled down a second rebound, which set up a teammate for a bucket, then drilled her second three-ball to push D’Youville in front 47-45 late in the third.

The Spartans led the game until late in the fourth, taking their final lead at 61-58 after Monica June slipped a pair of free throws through the net with 3:16 left on the clock.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, they went ice cold after that, missing their final six shots while Kellner sat on the bench.

Penn State wasn’t perfect down the stretch, clanking four of 10 free throws in the final three minutes, but it kept on snagging rebounds, and getting more freebies, until things piled up in its advantage.

Kellner, who played 11 minutes, finished with six points and two rebounds.

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Whitman College won again Tuesday night, but lost Coupeville grad Makana Stone to a high ankle sprain. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

It was a night of mixed emotions in Walla Walla.

On one hand, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad held off pesky Whitworth University 89-78 Tuesday, moving into sole-possession of first-place in the Northwest Conference, while giving coach Michelle Ferenz her 300th career win.

But, on a troubling note, Coupeville grad Makana Stone, the team’s leading scorer and rebounder, ended the night on crutches after suffering a possible high ankle sprain.

Limited to just 13 minutes of action, the former Wolf had four points, six rebounds and an assist when she left the game.

Stone will definitely sit out this Friday, when Whitman (10-1 in league play, 16-4 overall) hosts Lewis & Clark College (1-9, 2-17).

After that, the Blues don’t play for a solid week, until George Fox (9-1, 16-3) comes to Walla Walla for a battle royal.

Tuesday night, Whitman overcame the loss of its junior leader by spreading the offensive love out among a number of players.

Taylor Chambers knocked down a team-high 18, while Maegan Martin (16), Kaelan Shamseldin (15), and Mady Burdett (13) joined her in notching double figures.

Down by a point after the first quarter, Whitman broke the game open with two runs, taking the second frame 19-12 and the third quarter 24-16.

Stone, a three-time league player of the week this season, sits with 297 points, 175 rebounds, 38 assists, 23 steals, and 17 blocks.

She’s hit on 124-246 field goal tries and 48-62 free throw attempts.

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