MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake Christian wasn’t dead-eye from the free throw line, but when it mattered most freshmen Aidyn Waldrop and Jocelyn Lloyd combined to make three crucial ones.
Waldrop split a pair to break a 37-37 tie and Lloyd made two more free throws to propel Moses Lake Christian over visiting Wilson Creek 42-39.
“The girls are starting to grow up a little bit more now,” MLCA head coach Josh Kast said. “They’ve been in a few more closer games. They’re starting to learn how to win and close the game. All my girls are young. They’re all sophomores, freshmen and eighth-graders.”
Wilson Creek routed Moses Lake Christian 59-37 in the first meeting Jan. 9.
From the opening tip, it was clear Thursday would be different.
Offense came at a premium in the opening quarter. Both teams swarmed for rebounds and four jump balls were called within the first four minutes.
Annie Roemer scored on a put-back to beat the first-quarter buzzer to give the Lions an 8-6 lead.
The Lions created more breathing room in the second quarter, outscoring the Devils 15-8.
Standout eighth-grader McKenzie Lembcke kept Wilson Creek close with eight points in the first half and, along with running mate Josee Newman, began to take over the game in the third quarter. Lembcke and Newman combined for 11 points in the period, helping the Devils take a one-point lead into the fourth quarter. Lembcke finished with a game-high 19 points.
“We tried to put our quickest girl on her, which is a post player right now, which is Anastasia (Gulenko),” Kast said. “Anastasia did a good job keeping her in front most of the time, but that (number) 32 she’s quick and she has a lot of ball skills where she knows how to use her body and knows how to attack offensively.”
Unfortunately for Wilson Creek, the fouls began to mount late in the third quarter as Newman was whistled for her fifth. Newman was one of three Devils to foul out; Megan Lembcke and Marci Dowers were also disqualified in the fourth quarter.
Both teams traded points in the final minutes of the fourth quarter before Waldrop’s and Lloyd’s free throws sealed the game for the Lions.
“The girls found a way to get open and make a few things happen,” Kast said.
Score by quarters
MLCA — 8 15 5 14 42
WC — 6 8 15 10 39
MLCA: Rylee Homesley 10, Jocelyn Lloyd 10, Anastasia Gulenko 6, Rubi Montoya 6, Cassidy Stanley 5, Aidyn Waldrop 5
WC: McKenzie Lembcke 19, Gracie Bise 8, Josee Newman 6, Megan Lembcke 2, Anissa Odorizzi 2, Marci Dowers 2
Moses Lake Christian 72, Wilson Creek 9
MOSES LAKE — Moses Lake Christian remained in first place after beating Wilson Creek 72-9.
Pierre Boorman scored a game-high 20 points. Wes Meise and Jacob Robertson added 11 and 12 points, respectively.
Moses Lake Christian travels to Pateros Feb. 6 for a game that will decide the Central Washington 1B league championship.