Moses Lake rides Loera’s record night into state quarterfinals

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  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake point guard Jamie Loera (right) drives past Woodinville's Morgan Lundquist. Loera scored a school-record 38 points.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake's Kiera McPartland (12) tries to find some space against Woodinville's Nikki Zaback.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake's Morgan Yamane (background) and Ellie Mayo scramble to maintain possession against Woodinville.

  • Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake point guard Jamie Loera (right) drives past Woodinville's Morgan Lundquist. Loera scored a school-record 38 points.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake's Kiera McPartland (12) tries to find some space against Woodinville's Nikki Zaback.

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    Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Moses Lake's Morgan Yamane (background) and Ellie Mayo scramble to maintain possession against Woodinville.

ELLENSBURG — Woodinville was determined to not let Jamie Loera beat them.

Loera had already scored 36 points and just secured an offensive rebound with the game tied 65-65 late in the fourth quarter. With the shot clock winding down and a sea of green in front of her, Loera passed to Kiera McPartland near the right wing. McPartland took a few dribbles and rattled in a mid-range shot that proved to be the go-ahead basket.

“You can’t really think about it in a situation like that, because if you think about it too much you don’t have a chance,” she said.

Moses Lake hit four more free throws in the final minute to stave off Woodinville’s comeback bid and advance to the state quarterfinals 71-66.

Loera made it a record night with 38 points, unseating big sister Jessie Loera who scored 37 against Chiawana her senior year.

It looked to be one of “those nights” from the outset.

Loera scored Moses Lake’s first 15 points, missed just one shot in the first quarter and beat the buzzer with a pull-up 3 to make it 18 in eight minutes.

“We’ve been preparing this whole week for a great team and they were definitely a great team,” she said. “I came out here playing for my team and with my team. My shots fell and they kept giving it to me and they kept falling.”

Ellie Mayo drilled a 3-pointer to put the Chiefs ahead by 19 — the team’s largest lead — in the second quarter before the Falcons closed to 15 points at the break.

However, Woodinville outscored Moses Lake 22-13 in the third quarter to make its deficit manageable.

The Falcons’ up-tempo style made no lead safe.

Senior Regan Schenck scored 16 of her team-high 25 points in the second half and shot 5-of-8 from long range; Freshman Mia Hughes added 19 points.

“With the height of the screener, we didn’t want to guard a certain way and it forced us into it,” head coach Matt Strophy said. “Well, turns out when they forced us into it that was probably the best way to do it because then it kind of got her (Schenck) out of rhythm a little bit and then we helped enough to where he took the roll away.

“But number one — give a ton of credit to her and (number) 24. When we saw her (Hughes) on film — she’s their leading scorer and she’s a good player — she is way better in person even.”

Woodinville briefly overtook Moses Lake in the fourth quarter, leading 63-62 after a Schenck 3-pointer and 65-64 after Schenck split a pair of free throws.

Using exemplary defense and free throw shooting, Moses Lake closed the game on a 7-1 run.

“We definitely have trust in each and every person in this team,” Loera said.

Next: vs. Bellarmine Prep/University, March 1, 9 a.m., at the Tacoma Dome

Score by quarters

ML — 26 18 13 14 71

W — 15 14 22 15 66

Scoring

Jamie Loera 38, Abby Rathbun 11, Madisyn Clark 7, Brecka Erdmann 6, Ellie Mayo 4, Morgan Yamane 3, Kiera McPartland 2

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