Friday, April 12, 2024

Vikings take down Timberwolves

| January 30, 2024 3:52 PM

MOSES LAKE — Coming off of a tough loss, the Big Bend women's basketball team took the time to look themselves in the mirror and bring to light areas that needed to change moving forward.

"At this morning's gameday prep session, I let the players talk for 30 minutes about what they thought we needed to do in our game tonight," head coach Preston Wilks said before the game. "It went really well; the best thing that came from it is that I felt like when we left the classroom portion of our preparation, they walked out of there with ownership in making things happen tonight."

After a solid morning shoot-around, BBCC took the floor to take on the Blue Mountain Community College Timberwolves at the Devries Activity Center. The Vikes came out firing, shooting 47% from the floor while playing elite defense. This combination led to a 19-2 run to begin the game in favor of Big Bend. After an excellent first quarter, BBCC looked to extend the lead going into the break. As Wilks has highlighted over the past few games, "It's about winning quarters." The Vikings slowed down a little bit offensively, although their relentless defense picked up the slack with Big Bend going into halftime leading the Timberwolves 38-25.

With their largest lead of the season at halftime, BBCC focused on playing a clean second half to secure the win. A slow third quarter with only 11 points scored allowed BMCC to cut the lead to eight going into the final frame. Again, it was about winning quarters, with two of the first three going Big Bend's way. The Vikings put their foot on the gas and finished off with their best quarter of the night shooting 64% from the field securing a 69-56 victory. Riley Layton led the offense dropping 21 points on 9-13 shooting while collecting 10 rebounds for yet another double-double, while Katie Hansen scored 17 points including five three-pointers while adding four rebounds and four assists in the Viking victory. Wilks highlighted two areas of focus that the Lady Vikes needed to incorporate into their game to take that next step forward. 

"One was in our shot selection, which was greatly improved tonight, and the game results are indicative of that," he said. "The other aspect the players nailed was we needed to play to win. The increased focus and intensity helped increase our performance and we jumped out to a strong start. As their coach, it was so fulfilling to see them go out and play with passion and play together to get good quality shots."

Not only did they execute their long-term goal, but also their goal versus Blue Mountain specifically as Wilks said.

"One tangible goal we identified for tonight's game, is we wanted to out-rebound Blue since we were out-rebounded in our prior game," Wilks said. "I told the ladies prior to the game, that if you're going to get a foul tonight, then go get one while you're going hard after a rebound. It was great to see us rebound so hard tonight and at times we were relentless going after offensive boards. We definitely need to carry forward our rebounding effort into our game on Wednesday."

After a quality victory, the Lady Vikes were able to take a deep breath and realize their young group has what it takes to compete at a high level.

"This win is good for our young team, we beat a team that started three sophomores," Wilks said. "We have been saying the past few days, that it's time to quit worrying about our inexperience and freshmen-only roster, instead it's now time to go play and execute, which is exactly what we did tonight. It was a great team effort, as everyone contributed something positive to our team's outcome."

Up next, the Lady Vikes hit the road Wednesday to Wenatchee to battle it out versus the Knights. 

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.