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Coupeville’s Makana Stone, here with mom Eileen, went off for 22 points and 11 rebounds Thursday in a college basketball playoff win. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

Sweet, sweet revenge.

If you lose twice to the same team in the regular season, but bounce back to win the third meeting in the playoffs, who really cares about the first two games?

Not the Whitman College women’s basketball team, which rallied behind an inspired performance from Coupeville’s Makana Stone Thursday to derail visiting Puget Sound 69-61.

The victory, coming in the semifinals of the Northwest Conference postseason tourney, lifts the Blues to 20-6 and sends them to the tourney title game.

That game, where the winner earns an automatic berth to the NCAA D-III national championships, goes down Saturday in Newberg, OR.

Second-seeded Whitman, which avenged eight and five-point losses to #3 UPS, faces league champ George Fox (23-3) in the finale. The Bruins drilled #4 Linfield 76-49 Thursday in their semifinal game.

The title tilt will be the rubber match for the two squads, as Whitman and George Fox split their regular season bouts.

The Blues won 73-54 on the road Jan. 12, before falling 61-57 at home Feb. 8 in Walla Walla.

Thursday night’s game pitted Stone, a junior just named to her second-straight All-Conference team, against the league’s MVP, junior post player Jamie Lange.

While both played well, Coupeville’s ace came out ahead on three counts.

Stone’s game-high 22 points and 11 rebounds edged out Lange’s 18 and 11, the UPS star fouled out, and, most importantly, Whitman won.

As expected, it was a close game most of the way, just as the first two meetings between these teams played out.

Puget Sound jumped out to an early lead in the first quarter, but couldn’t pull away, eventually settling for a narrow 14-11 lead at the first break.

Whitman, behind six points from Stone, carried the second quarter, using a 15-12 run to knot things at 26-26 at the half.

Whatever happened in the locker room, be it a dramatic speech, or just some quality Gatorade, the Blues came out on fire in the third quarter, busting open the game.

The host team pulled out in front by eight points heading into the fourth, then eventually ran their lead all the way to a 13-point bulge in the fourth.

UPS rallied, however, twice cutting the lead to five.

That was as close as the Loggers would get, though, as Stone went off for 10 of her 22 points in the game’s final 10 minutes.

Her offensive display included a dagger of a jumper in the late going, which took the remaining air out of the visitors.

Stone added a pair of steals and two teeth-rattling blocks to her game-busting performance, while teammates Mady Burdett and Maegan Martin added 14 and 10 points respectively.

On the season, Stone sits with 378 points, 214 rebounds, 40 assists, 28 steals, and 20 blocks.

She’s hit on 158-309 field goals and 61-77 free throws.

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