Big Bend’s balance blows out NIC

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  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Leah Dougherty leaps for a lay-up over North Idaho's Keara Simpson (35).

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Anna Yarbro (21) puses the ball up the court against North Idaho.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend guard Miranda Johnson (middle) threads the needle for a pass between North Idaho defenders Alex Carlton (24) and Heidi Sellman (44).

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Kelsey Sorenson works under the basket against North Idaho defender Keara Simpson (35).

  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Leah Dougherty leaps for a lay-up over North Idaho's Keara Simpson (35).

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Anna Yarbro (21) puses the ball up the court against North Idaho.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend guard Miranda Johnson (middle) threads the needle for a pass between North Idaho defenders Alex Carlton (24) and Heidi Sellman (44).

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend's Kelsey Sorenson works under the basket against North Idaho defender Keara Simpson (35).

MOSES LAKE — Big Bend appeared a little lethargic to begin its East region opener.

The team wasn’t talkative and North Idaho took advantage with an 8-0 spurt to start the game.

“It was a weird little beginning,” head coach Preston Wilks said. “We hadn’t had a beginning like that the whole season, where we’ve been down that far.”

However, a quick timeout calmed the nerves and Big Bend rattled off 13 straight points to take the lead for good and beat North Idaho 78-62. It was an early test as both teams accumulated double digit wins prior to region play.

And the Vikings passed with flying colors.

Miranda Johnson’s team-high 17 led a starting five that all scored 10 or more points.

“That’s my favorite type of games, is when everyone is scoring,” sophomore Leah Dougherty said. “I think it just helps us become a better team because if someone’s having an off night it doesn’t matter because someone else will just score.

“I think those are the teams that are the hardest to beat when everyone can just make a difference on the floor.”

Big Bend had a multitude of difference-makers Wednesday evening.

Moses Lake Christian graduate Anna Yarbro helped the Vikings get out of their first-quarter funk. Yarbro had four points and a steal off the bench in the first quarter, including a coast-to-coast drive that put Big Bend in the lead, 9-8.

“She definitely talks a lot and gets us pumped up when she comes on the floor,” Dougherty said.

Big Bend closed the first quarter on a 16-2 run and continued to build on its lead in the first half. Johnson hit a corner 3-pointer and split two defenders with a nifty behind-the-back dribble for a finish at the rim to create a double digit margin, 26-16, in the second quarter.

North Idaho drew to within six points through three quarters, setting up a potentially dramatic final 10 minutes. That is until Dougherty and Kayla Luke hit consecutive 3-pointers to swell the lead to 18 points.

The Vikings led by as much as 20 points in the fourth quarter before the Cardinals trimmed the deficit to 13.

“They showed some great composure tonight,” Wilks said.

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