Lady Vikings dazzle Langara

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Rodney Harwood/ Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend guard Maggie Strom of Moses Lake (13) defends against Soleil Wilding (5) from Langara College during the first half of Friday night’s game at DeVries Activity Center.

MOSES LAKE — Watching the Big Bend motion offense is a lot like watching the magician work the shell game at the carnival. Round and round she goes, where she stops nobody knows.

Are they going to drive the lane for the runner off the glass or kick it outside and pop the three? Nobody knows. Where the little ball did end up most of the time in Friday’s game against Langara College from British Columbia was in the jar.

Sunnie Martinez was 5-of-9 from 3-point range and shot an even 50 percent from the field to lead the Vikings (8-1) past the Falcons 77-58 in their second game of the Big Bend Women’s Classic at DeVries Activity Center.

The Vikings opened up a 49-33 lead in the third quarter when Martinez drained her third consecutive 3-pointer to lead Big Bend’s 13-4 run midway through the period and the Vikings, who are tied for first place in the NWAC East, ran away from the Falcons.

“There’s a lot of trust on our team this year. Anyone can go off on any given night,” said Martinez, who scored 10 of her game-high 19 points in the first half. “The motion offense is new this year. It’s designed, in theory, to get us layups. Coach got after us tonight a little bit when we’d take quick shots, because he wants us to get it to the basket.

“We’re quick this year and it’s fun to get the ball and go, which is my style of play. Just get it and go. We have two of the best 3-point shooters in the NWAC, so we have a couple of options.”

The Vikings were about even shooting the 3-ball, hitting 6-of-12 from beyond the arc in the first half and finishing close to 50-percent, finishing with 9-of-26 on the night.

“I really like the motion, once you catch the defense off-guard it leads to easy baskets,” said Callie Gronning, a 5-foot-7 sophomore from Soda Springs, Idaho. “I think we’re more of a running team this year. We have girls that can make the pass up the floor. Once we get it up the floor we can drive it to the basket.

“We start putting that pressure on them, we can kick it out and count on our shooters from 3-point range.”

Big Bend led by four at the intermission, then turned up the heat with a 15-3 run to open the third quarter, starting with a Martinez 3 as the 5-8 point guard from Kaysville, Utah started finding the range from the perimeter. The Vikings took a 20-point lead into the final quarter, riding on the wave of a 29-point scoring effort in the third period.

“Tonight was really good competition and we had to be disciplined,” Gronning said. “We did have to do the little things well and concentrate on the fundamentals.”

Martinez finished with 19 points and four assists for the Vikings, who had four in double digits. Gronning had 16 points and was 7-of-15 from the floor. Hailey Garrity had 11 points and Miranda Johnson added 10.

Alexa Leynes led the Falcons with 15 points and seven rebounds and Haylee Robertson had 12.

Big Bend hosts Portland Community College at 7 p.m. on Saturday.

Langara 17 9 13 19 - 58

Big Bend 11 19 29 18 - 77

Langara – Bronte Stark 10, Carly Dhanda 0, Trisha Pajayon 11, Alexa Leynes 15, Coco Suave 6, Soleil Wilding 2, Haeley Williams 2, Haylee Robertson 12. Totals: 24-56 2-4 58

Big Bend – Sunnie Martinez 19, Hailey Garrity 11, Emily Allan 6, Callie Gronning 16, Kelsey Foster 3, Brynn Drummond 2, Leah Dougherty 7, Miranda Johnson 10, Maggie Strom 3. Totals: 28-66 12-25 77.

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