Lady Warriors’ magical season halted in Elite Eight
The magical season for the Lady Warriors of Wabash Valley ended Thursday in Lubbock Texas. They fell to the No. 8 seed New Mexico Junior College 63-59. The Lady Warriors finished 32-1 while New Mexico moved on to the semi’s with a 29-5 record.
The teams traded baskets in the first quarter and after ten minutes of play the Lady Warriors were down 19-16. The Lady Warriors could not get a basket to fall inside or from three point range. Pearl Dean closed the gap by scoring inside early in the second quarter to make the score 18-19. The Lady Warriors were only able to score four more point the rest of the quarter. The last basket was by Dazha Congleton with 4:30 left in the quarter and were down by five 27-22. At halftime New Mexico had taken a 37-22 advantage. WVC was one of ten from behind the arc and were outrebounded 26 to 15 in the half.
The third quarter was a comeback as the Lady Warriors chopped into the lead. They scored 26 points in the quarter behind Maria Hunter who had 11 points. Jordyn Dawson was also a key with some big baskets and free throws. Shi Banks off the bench got some big defensive stops and rebounds at both ends of the floor. After 30 minutes the Lady Warriors pulled to within two 50-48 on a basket by Hunter at the buzzer ending the 3rd quarter. In the quarter the Lady Warriors outscored the Lady Thunderbirds 26 to 13.
The fourth quarter both teams struggled to score. When Dawson scored and fouled making the old fashion three point play to tie the score at 52 all. KK White would give WVC their first lead since early in the game when she scored on a breakaway layup to make it 56-54 with 3:22 left to play. White would put the Lady Warriors up by five with a three pointer 59-54. Thamires Andrade, their leading scorer would tie the score at 59 all and she hit two free throws with 2:18 left. Eternatie Willock a 6-foot-3 center who came in off the bench would score inside for New Mexico and to take the lead for good 61-59. WVC had their chances in the last minute of the game but could not get a basket. Andrade would seal the game with two free throws with less than five seconds to play. The Lady Thunderbirds finished the game on a nine-point unanswered run.
For WVC Marie Hunter had 11 points and five steals. Jordyn Dawson had 12 points and 12 rebounds and off the bench KK White had 12 points. In this game the bench scored only 14 points. For the game WVC shot 30.4 percent from the field and 33.3 percent from behind the arc and had a good day at the foul line hitting 84.6 percent.
New Mexico shot 37.9 percent from the field and 29.4 percent from three point land and only 58.3 percent from the foul line. Jurnee President had 16 points as did Willock and Andrade had 13 points. The Lady Thunderbirds got 20 points from their bench.
New Mexico would defeat Hutchinson 60-54 in the semifinal but then lose to the National Champion Gulf Coast 68-62.
Congratulations to the Lady Warriors on a spectacular campaign.