Blaine girls ease past Mabton

THE BELLINGHAM HERALDMarch 6, 2014 

YAKIMA - Blaine left little doubt that it was ready for a matchup against King's in the Class 1A semifinals, the same King's team that handed the Borderites a stinging 55-26 loss on Feb. 13 during districts.

It's an embarrassing defeat they have yet to forget.

"I wanted to play them again, the girls wanted to play them again," Blaine coach Ryan Pike said. "We like playing teams we lose to because we have a chip on our shoulder. I hope that chip is big enough that we can push through any tiredness we have ... and just play hard and go out there and score more points than they do."

Blaine (21-7) earned its berth into the semifinals after defeating Mabton 43-27 in the quarterfinals on Thursday, March 6, at the SunDome in Yakima. The Borderites will take on King's at 9 p.m. Friday with a place in the state championships up for grabs.

From the onset, one thing was clear: The Vikings wanted to push the tempo, forcing the taller, stronger Blaine team to keep up. Suffice it to say the Borderites were fine with that.

Just fine, actually, forcing the smaller Mabton team into several early turnovers that led to baskets on the other end.

"We were ready for whatever came at us," senior post Alexis McElwain said. "We do feel comfortable pushing it, but we wanted to play our game."

Mandy Hayes, showing that she's more than just a 3-point threat, found success going to the basket in the first. She twice broke down the Vikings' defense, getting layups to build Blaine a 10-4 lead heading into the second.

The offensive woes for the Vikings continued as they struggled to deal with the size of both Taylor V'Dovec, who stands 5-feet-11, and McElwain, who stands 5-foot-10. Mabton shot just 4 of 18 from the field in the first half, getting outrebounded 20-8 in the process.

The Borderites opened the second with a pair of offensive rebounds that eventually led to a baseline jumper by Olivia Olason. Olason, who averages just more than three points per game, continued to provide Pike and Blaine with another scoring option after adding a 3-pointer on their next offensive trip. She finished with nine points on 4-of-10 shooting from the field.

Mabton got back-to-back baskets that trimmed Blaine's lead to 15-12, but an 11-0 run by the Borderites to finish the quarter offered them a 26-12 lead heading into the third.

"It was unbelievable how well they played defense in the first half," Pike said. "Our defense was outstanding today. Our help defense was the best I've ever seen it in the first half. Of any team - any team I've seen us play - it's the best defense I've ever seen."

The Borderites' lead grew to 37-23 late in the third after a 3-pointer by Hayes, a layup by Olason and a mid-ranger jumper by V'Dovec. McElwain got into the scoring, too, albeit in the fourth when she hit a contested layup while getting fouled. She finished with nine points and a team-high 12 rebounds. V'Dovec, who is the team's leading scorer at 16.4 points per game, had just eight while Hayes led all scorers with 11.

That kind of scoring depth is a dangerous sight for teams moving forward, Pike said.

"If we have four people with nine or 12 points, we're going to be tough to beat," Pike said. "If you have balanced scoring, it's tough to pin down one thing you have to take away. ... Obviously Taylor's got to score a little bit more to win it all, but if we can play defense like we played today for 64 more minutes, we could be coming home with some heavy hardware."

Reach Alex Bigelow at alex.bigelow@bellinghamherald.com or call 360-715-2238. Follow @bhamsports on Twitter for other Whatcom County sports updates.

Scouting King's

The King's Knights advanced to the Class 1A semifinals after handing Okanogan a 38-32 defeat in the quarterfinals. King's held the Bulldogs to just 14 of 58 from the field, getting outrebounded 41-39 in the process. King's struggled on the offensive glass, allowing Okanogan 17 offensive rebounds, but the Knights' stout defense contested every shot. Daylee Hanson and Savanna Hanson led King's with nine points apiece. Hanna Echelbarger and Julia Bernson added six points each.

BEYOND

THE BOX SCORE

Blaine's defense held Mabton to 3-of-22 shooting from the 3-point line while only allowing three Vikings to score the entire game.

BLAINE 43, MABTON 27 Mabton 4 8 11 4 — 27 Blaine 10 16 11 6 — 43

FG FT Reb Mabton M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Irene Pineda 2-10 0-0 0-1 0 4 5 Rieley McCallum 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Cassidy McCallum 0-4 0-0 0-4 0 2 0 Liz Martinez 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Alyssa Nash 0-16 0-0 2-10 2 2 0 Abby Garzon 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Abby Villalobos 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Adriana Zaragoza 0-2 0-0 0-0 0 2 0 Cristina Espinoza 0-2 0-0 1-3 0 0 0 Caitlin Escoto-Rojas 0-0 0-0 1-1 0 0 0 Solia Zaragoza 2-9 1-2 1-4 0 3 7 Desenay Guerrero 5-11 5-5 6-8 0 5 15 Totals 9-54 6-7 14-35 5 15 27

Percentages: FG 16.7, FT 85.7 3-Point FG: 3-22, 13.6 (Pineda 1-7 Cassidy McCallum 0-2, Nash 0-6, Adriana Zaragoza 0-2, Espinoza 0-1, Solia Zaragoza 2-4). Blocked Shots: 3 (Nash 1, Solia Zaragoza 2). Steals: 8 (Cassidy McCallum 2, Guerrero 2, Pineda 1, Nash 1, Espinoza 1, Zaragoza 1). Turnovers: 14 (Nash 9, Pineda 2, Espinoza 2, Escoto-Rojas 1).

FG FT Reb Blaine M-A M-A O-T A PF PTS Gretchen Kordan 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Breanna Chau 2-5 0-0 2-5 4 1 4 Olivia Olason 4-10 0-0 1-3 0 1 9 Alexis McElwain 3-7 3-4 3-12 0 2 9 Emily Roe 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Mikayla Deming 1-1 0-2 0-3 0 0 2 Kristin Larson 0-1 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Mandy Hayes 3-11 4-5 2-8 0 2 11 Rhianna Breedlove 0-0 0-0 0-0 0 0 0 Taylor V’Dovec 4-12 0-0 4-9 0 0 8 Totals 17-47 7-12 13-44 4 6 43

Percentages: FG 36.2, FT 58.3 3-Point FG: 2-7, 28.6 (Chau 0-2, Olason 1-2, Hayes 1-3). Blocked Shots: 3 (McElwain 1, Roe 1, Hayes 1). Steals: 11 (Chau 3, Hayes 4, V’Dovec 2, Deming 2). Turnovers: 17 (Chau 5, McElwain 3, Deming 3, Hayes 3, Olason 2, V’Dovec 1).

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