MOSES LAKE — The whistles came early and often.
Abby Rathbun and Kiera McPartland were forced to sit with two fouls each and Moses Lake committed nine as a team in the first quarter. Rathbun even picked up her third foul on a charge call at the start of the second quarter to put Wenatchee in the double bonus.
And yet that adversity was not reflected in the final score as the Chiefs notched their 19th consecutive win 71-32.
“That is not Moses Lake defense,” head coach Matt Strophy said. “At their timeout, at our timeout, at the first quarter we’re getting in their ear about that’s not Moses Lake defense and so we had some missed switches and missed communications between each other, which should never happen.
“We’ve got to be able to dial ourselves in no matter what the emotions are in our hearts and in our minds. We have to be able to overcome that and it took us a while, but we did.”
Despite the staccato rhythm of play due to the fouls, Jamie Loera hit consecutive 3-pointers and Rathbun scored on a put-back to highlight a 10-0 run. In extended minutes due to the foul situation, Madisyn Clark scored nine of her 11 points in the first half.
Then it was Loera’s turn
The senior point guard scored 19 of her game-high 31 points in the middle quarters.
Moses Lake had just two points halfway through the third before Loera rattled off seven straight. She sunk a corner 3-pointer and then drove for consecutive lay-ups, building a 28-point lead.
“She just takes over and it’s not in a way that seems forced,” Strophy said. “It just seems like, ‘OK, I’m going to take what they give me, but I’m going to take it. I’m not going to let it necessarily come to me, but I’m going to take the things that they’re giving.’”
Loera checked out of the game with 31 points. There was a fleeting consideration of the school record, which is 37 points set by big sister Jessie Loera two years ago, but the point guard was understandably about the unit as opposed to the individual.
“When I sat down I kind of thought about it, but when I come to the game I kind of just think about what our team needs as in what I need to distribute — points, assists, defense, everything. Yeah, it came to mind, but always the team came first.”
Next: at Davis, Feb. 9, 5:45 p.m.
Score by quarters
W — 10 8 6 8 32
ML — 19 20 15 17 71
Jamie Loera 31, Madisyn Clark 11, Abby Rathbun 7, Kiera McPartland 5, Morgan Yamane 4, Brecka Erdmann 4, Anna Olson 4, Kendyl Crum 2, Farrya Sandmann 2, Ellie Mayo 1