Big second quarter lifts Big Bend to first NWAC East win

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Connor Vanderweyst/Columbia Basin Herald Big Bend guard Kayla Luke shoots over a Columbia Basin defender.

MOSES LAKE — Not known as a dead-eye marksman, Anna Yarbro let loose a 3-pointer from the right wing that tickled the twine. It was Yarbro’s seventh consecutive point, which highlighted a 17-3 run by Big Bend to close the first half.

Big Bend maintained its double-digit lead throughout the second half and beat Columbia Basin 74-63 for its first Northwest Athletic Conference East Region win.

Emily Gorrell and Kayla Luke added 3-pointers during the second-quarter run.

“I think what happened is we just started being aggressive, but under control aggressiveness and that’s been kind of our Achilles heel is we want to play uptempo,” head coach Preston Wilks said. “We love to play uptempo — that’s our system — but we have not been able to play aggressive, under control basketball and I felt like that was just the difference.

“We can attack and play with the best of them, but we always hurry ourselves up a little bit and I think in the critical moments we’re making a good pass, we’re making a good decision — we slowed that moment down. I think that’s how we started pulling away is because we started getting good looks, we started executing.”

The Vikings’ offensive execution faltered some in the third quarter with a myriad of turnovers, however, the Hawks were unable to get any closer than nine points. Luke immediately answered with a 3-pointer after the lead dipped below double digits. Luke scored a game-high 22 points in addition to 11 assists and five rebounds.

“Our system is designed that our point guard may bring the ball down, but our point guard will swing over and become a wing and so Kayla is getting a lot of her looks from the wing and she’s shooting real well right now,” Wilks said. “She is in practice and so she’s carrying it over to games. She’s definitely playing really well for us on the offensive end.”

Gorrell provided a lift off Big Bend’s thin bench with 12 points on 4-of-5 shooting from deep. Gorrell drilled a 3-pointer as time expired in the third quarter to increase Big Bend’s lead to 14, added two more makes in the fourth quarter.

“We were cycling the kids in off the bench trying to figure out who could help us and Emily stood up tonight and said, ‘Hey, I’m the person,’ and she really was big for us off the bench tonight,” Wilks said.

Score by quarters

CBC 19 8 17 19 — 63

BB 14 26 18 16 — 74

Big Bend highlights: Kayla Luke 22 points, 11 assists, five rebounds; Anna Yarbro 21 points, 16 rebounds; Savana Stephenson 14 points, nine rebounds; Emily Gorrell 12 points

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