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Stifling defense fuels road win for Lady Vikes

by CONTRIBUTED REPORT/BBCC ATHLETICS
| January 25, 2024 11:09 AM

MOSES LAKE – After dropping their first three conference games, the Lady Vikes needed to get in the win column to avoid digging themselves a hole that they could not get out of. 

BBCC hit the road to face off versus the Yakima Valley Yaks on Wednesday, seeking their first conference win. Although the offense had been struggling, Head Coach Preston Wilks emphasized that the overall success of the Lady Vikes ultimately starts with the defense. Big Bend was able to execute their defense-oriented game plan and led 17-14 after the first 10 minutes of play.

"We were determined to come out with a better defensive effort tonight, with goals to stick close to shooters and contest all shots," Wilks said. "We were able to execute and the defense propelled us to a great start. We needed that boost of confidence especially since we've been behind after the first quarter in all three of our Region games so far this year."

Hoping to finish out the first half strong, BBCC struggled to contain the high-powered Yakima offense surrendering 27 points and going into the break down by ten with the score settling at 41-31. Wilks had this to say regarding the lead change in the second quarter. 

"Yakima is a high-scoring team and one of the best three-point shooting teams in the NWAC, and they tried to give us their knockout punch in the 2nd quarter," he said.

Halftime was a reset for the Lady Vikes as Wilks highlighted "winning quarters." The Lady Vikes came out of the break and put together a stellar 20-point quarter cutting the lead to eight points going into the final frame. 

"To start the 4th, I told the ladies that we had won 2 of the 3 quarters and that it was our night to go out and win the 4th quarter", Wilks stated.

Big Bend managed to put together their best all-round quarter of the season dropping 20 points for the second straight frame and holding the Yaks offense to 5 points securing a 10-point comeback win with a final score of 71-64. 

"We played stifling D in the 4th, holding them to five points," Wilks said. "The ladies were so happy after the game, just a real sense of accomplishment for them, as we've had to work extremely hard over the last 11 days to regroup and rally their minds and spirits. There were a lot of deep sighs of relief and even more smiles in the locker room after the game."

Kali Kast led the Lady Vikes offense dropping 21 points and six rebounds, with Riley Layton recording yet another double-double with 13 points and 12 rebounds, while Aquinna Riggles approached a triple-double with seven points, nine rebounds and eight assists in the Viking victory. 

BBCC prepares for this upcoming Saturday as they host the Walla Walla Warriors at the Devries Activity Center at 2:00pm.

As always, keep up with the Lady Vikings on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, as well as through the NWACSports Network's livestream video platform, where available.