Posts Tagged ‘George Fox University’

   Wolf grad Makana Stone tossed in 20 points and hauled down 10 boards Friday in a crucial win for Whitman. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

If the season comes down to one rebound, start writing thank you notes to Makana Stone.

The Coupeville grad pulled in her tenth and final board Friday with just 15 seconds to play, sealing a nail-biter win for Whitman College in a game with sole possession of first-place in the Northwest Conference on the line.

Stone’s rebound came with the Blues clinging to a two-point lead, and four free throws from Casey Poe later, Whitman had bounced visiting George Fox 77-71.

With their 14th straight win in hand, the Blues rise to 6-0 in league play, 14-1 overall, while George Fox slips to 4-1, 11-3.

Whitman took the battle for league supremacy in large part because it had the two most dangerous players on the court in Poe and Stone.

The All-American senior netted a game-high 29, including two free throws with 10 seconds to play, and then two more freebies with a single tick on the clock.

Poe added five assists, five steals and four blocks as she controlled every aspect of the floor.

Right on her tail came the sophomore sensation from Cow Town, as Stone rattled the rim for 20 points to go with her 10 rebounds. She also made off with a pair of steals.

Whitman, ranked #4 in D-III basketball, led from start to finish, but couldn’t quite pull away from the #25 Bruins.

With Poe (11) and Stone (6) combining for 17 first-quarter points, the Blues stormed out to a 21-12 lead at the first break, only to see George Fox trim it back to five at the half.

The lead hovered in the 7-9 point range through much of the second half, until a late fourth-quarter comeback roused the visitor’s hopes.

Kaitlin Jamieson slashed to the hoop for a layup with 2:33 to play, cutting Whitman’s lead to 72-71, and the home fans went pale in the face.

But never fear, as the Blues defense proved to be the real MVP, holding the Bruins scoreless the rest of the way.

Helping matters was four consecutive missed free throws by George Fox, a surprise since the visitors were a fairly-hot 24-31 at the charity stripe up to that point.

Whitman was on point at the line, hitting 28-34. Poe (13-14) and Stone (6-7) led the way there, as well.

Clinging to the one-point lead, the Blues got a big rebound from Stone, then a solitary free throw from Emily Rommel to push the margin to 73-71.

That set up the pressure-packed final 20 seconds.

The Blues went for the dagger, but sharp-shooting frosh Kaelan Shamseldin clanked a three-ball.

At which point Stone out-jumped the world for the rebound, then promptly fed Poe, who held on to the ball, absorbed the abuse of the quickly-arriving foul and did what she does best — ice games.

Whitman is now off for six days, returning to action next weekend when it travels to Oregon to play at Linfield Friday and Willamette Saturday.

After a strong freshman season in which she quickly became a starter for a team which went all the way to the Elite Eight, Stone has taken her game to another level as a sophomore.

She has 207 points, 98 rebounds, 31 assists and 11 steals, and is shooting 58% from the field (89-153) and 76% from the line (29-38).

Stone tops the team in rebounding and field goal percentage, while trailing Poe by just eight points in the team scoring race.

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Makana Stone (Eileen Stone photo)

Makana Stone, hoops sensation. (Eileen Stone photo)

One step closer to a national title.

Knocking off Northwest Conference foe George Fox University for a third time this season, Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Whitman College women’s basketball squad rolled into the second round of the NCAA D-III tourney.

Playing in Tacoma Friday night, the Blues upended the Bruins 76-72.

They’ll play either Puget Sound or UC Santa Cruz 7 PM Saturday night on the same court at Memorial Fieldhouse, with the winner advancing to the Sweet 16 the next weekend.

Friday night Whitman (24-4) blew out to a 26-10 lead midway through the second quarter, hit a rough spot and gave much of the lead back, but never completely faltered.

George Fox knotted things up at 71-71 with just 47 seconds on the clock, but the Blues were ruthless in closing out the tourney win.

Chelsi Brewer capped a 20-point night by swishing a three-ball to put Whitman back on top, before Casey Poe slid a pair of free throws through the twines with nine seconds to play to ice the victory.

Stone, making her 11th start as a college player, was a big factor, throwing down 14 points and snatching a game-high 10 rebounds.

She was especially effective in the third quarter, when she converted three straight layups to spark a Whitman run which stretched a one-point lead back out to seven.

Stone also picked up a pair of assists in the second quarter, setting up buckets by Emily Rommel and Lily Gustafson.

Through 27 games (she missed one while in a concussion protocol), the former Wolf has collected 189 points (7.0 a night) and 169 rebounds (6.3).

She also has 29 assists, 13 steals and 11 blocks.

Her stats put Stone #2 on the team in rebounding and field goal percentage (49.7% on 83 of 167).

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Makana Stone (John Fisken photo)

   Makana Stone and Whitman are cruising into the NCAA D-III national tourney. (John Fisken photo)

The road to a national title will start with a familiar foe.

Whitman College, having received an automatic bid to the NCAA D-III Women’s Basketball National Tournament, will open play in Tacoma Friday against Northwest Conference rival George Fox.

The Blues (23-4) and Bruins (21-5) will be facing off for the fourth time this season, and third in the last two weeks.

Whitman, sparked by Coupeville grad Makana Stone, won two of three against George Fox, most recently knocking them out of the league tourney.

The other two teams playing in Tacoma Friday are site host Puget Sound (25-2), which won the NWC regular season title but was upended in the postseason tourney by Whitman, and the University of California-Santa Cruz (13-10).

Friday’s winners meet Saturday at the same regional, with the victor advancing to the Sweet Sixteen.

There are four 27-0 teams in the 64-team tourney, with Amherst ranked #1 overall. Ohio Northern, Thomas More and St. Thomas (MN) are the other three unbeatens.

If Whitman gets on a roll, the earliest it could face an undefeated squad would be an Elite Eight match-up with St. Thomas.

The other three schools with perfect records sit on the opposite side of the bracket.

Stone made the jump from two-time Olympic League MVP in high school to college sensation with relative ease.

She’s played in 26 of 27 games (sitting out once for a concussion protocol), starting the last 10.

Stone has gone for 175 points (6.7 a night), 159 rebounds (6.1), 27 assists, 13 steals and 11 blocks. She’s #2 on the Blues in rebounding and field goal percentage (49% on 76 of 154 from the field).

To see the bracket, pop over to:


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Makana Stone

   CHS grad Makana Stone (left) is joined by fellow fab frosh Mady Burdett (middle) and Annissia Hughes.

Sweet redemption.

Just five days after it lost its regular season finale, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad rebounded Thursday to knock that same foe out of the playoffs.

The Blues, playing on the road in Newberg, OR, beat George Fox University 78-71 in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference Women’s Tournament.

Whitman (22-4) advances to play Puget Sound (25-1) in Tacoma 7 PM Saturday.

The Loggers almost didn’t make it to the championship game, which would have been a huge shock.

They were forced to rally from 10 points down with four minutes to play against Lewis & Clark, escaping with a 61-58 win.

The winning points came on a three-point play the hard way (bucket and free throw) from Jamie Lange, the league’s Freshman of the Year, with just 10 seconds to play.

Over in Oregon, the other semifinal matched teams with identical records that had split games during the regular season.

Whitman won 82-74 in Oregon Jan. 22, before George Fox upended the Blues 65-62 Feb. 18 in Walla Walla.

Thursday’s game started in favor of the Bruins, who built a 37-33 lead at the half, before Whitman stormed back in the second half.

A 23-15 third quarter gave the Blues the lead and they never relinquished it after that.

Coupeville High School grad Makana Stone, making the ninth start of her freshman season, dropped in 10 points and snatched seven boards in 31 minutes of action.

It was the second time the former Wolf has broken the 30-minute barrier this season (she played 35 minutes against Louisiana College in Dec.) and she used her time well.

Stone scored in every quarter, tickling the twines with three silky jumpers and two layups.

She was one of four Blues to hit double digits in scoring, with Chelsi Brewer (20), Casey Poe (15) and Emily Rommel (15) also wielding a hot shooting touch.

On the season, Stone has seen action in 25 of 26 games (missing one because of concussion protocol) and has racked up 165 points and 148 rebounds.

She’s #2 on the squad in rebounding and field goal percentage and has 25 assists, 11 blocks and 13 steals on her stat sheet.

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Makana Stone, seen here during her senior season at CHS, has been a dynamo on the college hardwood. (John Fisken photo)

   Makana Stone, seen here during her senior season at CHS, has been a dynamo on the college hardwood. (John Fisken photo)

Makana Stone would not go down without a fight.

The Coupeville grad scored her team’s final eight points Saturday, but not even her late-game heroics could save Whitman College in its regular season women’s basketball finale.

When teammate Mady Burdett’s three-ball at the buzzer bounced off the rim, the Blues fell 65-62, settling for third-place in the final Northwest Conference standings.

Whitman closes regular season play at 12-4 in league, 21-4 overall.

George Fox (13-3, 21-4), which avenged an earlier loss to the Blues, finish runner-ups behind Puget Sound (16-0, 24-1).

Those three teams, and fourth-place Lewis & Clark (9-7, 16-9), advance to the league tourney.

Whitman travels to Newberg, Oregon Thursday, Feb. 23 for an immediate rematch with George Fox.

Win that game and the Blues advance to the championship game Feb. 25, where they would play the winner of Puget Sound and Lewis & Clark.

Making her eighth start as a freshman, Stone threw down 11 points, snatched five rebounds and delivered two crushing blocks.

The rejections both came in the first quarter, as Whitman roared out to a 9-0 lead in the early going, before faltering a bit.

George Fox knotted the game at 18-18 after one quarter, and things remained tied 31-31 at the half.

A 22-18 third quarter run by the visitors was the difference, and the Bruins were still clinging to a 60-54 lead with 2:58 to play when Stone went to work.

She went on an 8-2 run by herself, draining a jumper, netting a pair of free throws, slapping down a layup, then pulling up for another jumper which tied the game at 62-62.

Stone’s final bucket, coming off an assist by Casey Poe, rattled home with 54 ticks on the clock.

George Fox answered with a Kaycee Creech lay-in at the 0:38 mark, then added one of two free throws with 11 seconds left to stretch out the final margin.

Whitman’s final two shots, both of which clanged off, came from veteran players and not their red-hot freshman.

As she and her teammates head into the postseason, Stone has 155 points (6.5 a night) and 141 rebounds (5.9) on the year.

She’s #2 on the team in rebounding and field goal percentage (51.5% on 68 of 132), and has collected 24 assists, 11 blocks and 12 steals.

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