Reign ends for CBC women

03/07/2009 16:48

By Ben Reynolds, Herald staff writer

Now the true test will be how the Columbia Basin College women's basketball team can bounce back.

The Hawks will not repeat as NWAACC champions after losing 68-59 to third-ranked Lane in the quarterfinals Friday at Toyota Center.

However, CBC still has plenty to play for. The Hawks can still finish as high as fourth and reach their goal of playing on the last day of the tournament.

To get there, CBC (18-11) will have to beat East Region rival and second-ranked Yakima Valley (24-6) at 2 p.m. today in a loser-out game.

The Yaks, who lost to Clackamas in the quarterfinals, have beaten the Hawks twice already this season.

"We have to put this one behind us and move on," said a disappointed CBC coach Cheryl Holden. "This one hurts."

Lane, the 2006 and '07 champion, advances to the semifinals for a sixth straight season and will play South Region rival Clackamas (21-7).

The matchup between CBC and Lane, the two teams that have combined to win the last four championships, seemed a little premature -- though only the quarterfinals, it could easily have been a semifinal or title game.

The game was close all the way and came down to a few possessions late in the first half that made the difference.

Lane, with its size on the front line, erased an early six-point deficit with a 7-0 run with 12 minutes left in the first half to take an 18-17 lead.

CBC played catch-up the rest of the way. The deficit got as big as 13 points and as small as four with 6:01 left in the game.

"It's always a battle when we play," said Lane coach Greg Sheley. "I'm just glad we got out of there with a win."

Lane (25-5) hit its free throws all night, including 7 of 10 in the final six minutes. The Titans were 20-of-28 for the game. CBC was just 6-of-12.

"We had our opportunities, (but) we just couldn't finish some of our shots," Holden said.

Some of that had to do with the Titans' size in the post. Lane has three players listed at 6-feet, and another at 5-11. The Hawks have two players listed at 5-10.

Lane got the majority of its points from the front line, 22 coming from Theresa Brown. She also had 10 rebounds.

"They are big and strong," said CBC post Caitlin Dill, who pulled down a team-high seven rebounds.

Lauren Rada led the Hawks with 18 points and helped spur the Hawks to the early lead. CBC, which fell behind 8-3 in the first four minutes, came right back with a 14-3 run to take a 17-11 advantage.

Rada, who was just 16 percent from behind the 3-point line on the season, was 2-of-2 in the first half and 3-for-7 in the game.

Jordan Brown also had a big first half, scoring 12 of her 17 points, but the Hawks still trailed 43-34 at the break.

"We played hard, and I am proud of them" Holden said.