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   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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   Wolf grad Makana Stone and mom Eileen goof around after a Whitman College basketball game earlier this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The appetizer went well. Now on to the entree.

Taking care of business Tuesday, the red-hot Whitman College women’s basketball squad crushed visiting Whitworth 101-68, claiming its 13th straight win.

With the victory, the Blues and their super sophomore, Coupeville grad Makana Stone, are 13-1 overall and sit alone atop the Northwest Conference at 5-0.

Now it’s on to the big brawl, with George Fox (11-2, 4-0) coming to Walla Walla Friday for a first-place showdown.

It’ll be a clash of titans, with the visitors on a hot streak of their own, having won nine straight.

Facing a Whitworth squad hovering around .500 on the season, Whitman unleashed its two-headed beast, with Stone and All-American Casey Poe each going off for 21 points.

Stone added nine rebounds and two assists, while the 21 points was a college career-best, topping the 20 she scored against LaVerne earlier this season.

Whitman crept out to a 27-20 lead after one quarter, then turned up the heat in the second, using a 24-12 surge to put the game away.

For the season, Stone has 187 points, 88 rebounds, 31 assists and nine steals, and leads the Blues in both scoring and rebounding.

She’s also shooting an electric 60% from the field on 82 of 136.

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   Former Wolves Makana Stone (second from left) and Kailey Kellner (far right) are now college hoops stars. (Amy King photo)

It was a fairly flawless night for Wolf alumni.

Two CHS grads played college ball Saturday, and both helped their teams come away with big league wins.

Makana Stone was in Walla Walla with Whitman College, which ripped visiting Lewis & Clark 77-65, while Kailey Kellner took the court in Ohio as D’Youville College routed host Franciscan 68-50.

Stone soars:

With their sophomore sensation collecting eight points, six rebounds, an assist and a steal, Whitman rolled to its 12th straight win.

Now 12-1 overall, 4-0 in league play, the Blues, ranked #7 in D-II basketball, sit tied with George Fox atop the Northwest Conference standings.

Whitman jumped out to an early 21-12 lead after one quarter, stretched the margin to 19 at the half, then weathered a bit of a comeback by their three-ball happy foes.

The Blues spread their scoring out, with Taylor Chambers leading four players in double digits with 12.

Casey Poe, Mady Burdett and Maegan Martin each chipped in with 10, while Emily Rommel helped Stone on the boards, snaring eight.

Stone leads Whitman in scoring (166 points), rebounding (79) and field goal percentage (62.6% on 72-115 from the floor).

Kellner kills:

D’Youville improved to 3-1 in the Allegheny Mountain Collegiate Conference with its road win, and now sits at 4-7 overall.

Kellner, a freshman, swished a second-quarter jumper and pilfered a steal for the Spartans, who led from start to finish.

A 26-15 first-quarter run broke the game wide open, with D’Youville adding to its lead at a steady pace from there.

The Spartans sit in third-place in the 10-team league, trailing just Mt. Aloysius (6-0) and Hilbert (5-1).

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   Makana Stone hangs out with big bro Andre at a game earlier this season. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

At least it was over quickly.

Facing the weakest team in its league Friday, the Whitman College women’s basketball squad knocked off the rust from a two-week break and rolled to another easy win.

Sparked by Coupeville grad Makana Stone, who tossed in five points while setting team-highs with 10 rebounds and five assists, the Blues crushed visiting Pacific University 75-50.

The victory, coming in Whitman’s first game since Dec. 21, lifts it to 11-1 overall, 3-0 in Northwest Conference play.

The Blues take their 11-game winning streak right back on the court Saturday, when they host Lewis & Clark (7-5, 2-1).

Whitman is opening the second half of the 2017-2018 season with four straight on their home court in Walla Walla, and plays nothing but league games from here on out.

Friday night they got an easy welcome-back-to-the-gym courtesy a Pacific team that is 1-10 on the season.

With Stone hauling down six boards in the first quarter, Whitman inched out in front 15-10, then steadily pulled away from there.

Emily Rommel dropped in 21 to pace the Blues, while Casey Poe rattled the rim for 16 and Mady Burdett banked home 12.

Stone’s sophomore campaign continues to go smoothly, as the former Wolf now sits with 158 points, 73 rebounds, 28 assists and eight steals.

She leads Whitman in scoring, rebounding and field goal percentage, where she’s hitting 64% on 68 of 107 from the floor.

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   Coupeville grad Makana Stone and Whitman College won for the 10th straight time, bouncing a ranked team Thursday in San Antonio. (Photo by JohnsPhotos.net)

The only thing that can cool them off is an enforced winter break.

Coupeville grad Makana Stone and the Whitman College women’s basketball team drilled a ranked foe Thursday, completing a clean sweep at the Trinity University Classic in San Antonio.

The 82-59 victory over the tourney hosts lifts the Blues, ranked #8 in NCAA D-III hoops, to 10-1.

With two wins by rout in as many days, Whitman heads home for the break riding a 10-game winning streak.

Stone and Co. are now off until Jan. 5, when they kick off a four-game home stand in Walla Walla.

The foe that night will be Pacific, and the game will start the heart of the Northwest Conference season for Whitman.

Currently sitting at 2-0 in league play, and in a first-place tie with George Fox, the Blues play their final 14 regular season games against conference opponents.

Thursday afternoon pitted Whitman against the #13 team in the nation, but it wasn’t as close a match-up as might have been expected.

The Blues led 16-13 after one quarter, stretched the margin to 41-33 at the break, then steadily pulled away after halftime.

The second half was when Stone did much of her damage, as she scored all eight of her points after the break.

The sophomore sensation added six rebounds, two assists and two steals, while All-American Casey Poe paced the Blues with 22 points.

For the season, Stone leads Whitman with 153 points on 58-90 (64%) shooting from the floor and 21-28 (75%) from the free throw line.

She also has 63 rebounds, 23 assists and eight steals.

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