The Grays Harbor College women easily took care of business in extending their winning streak to 22.
The Chokers cruised to an 86-50 win over Highline in the women’s half of an NWAC co-ed basketball doubleheader Wednesday at the GHC gym.
Despite dealing with illness, the Choker men stayed competitive but fell to Highline, 86-76.
WOMEN: Chokers 86, T-Birds 50
With the Chokers (10-0, 22-1) up only by three after the end of the first quarter, it appeared the game would be close. By halftime that was no longer a concern.
The Choker offense got off to a slow start when some of the open shots they typically hit weren’t falling.
“We missed some shots so we were a little bit anxious and tight,” Grays Harbor coach Chad Allan said. “We were missing shots that were open and we normally hit and it took some time for us to relax. Once we started relaxing, we got in our flow and hit some shots.”
A 25-point second quarter gave the Chokers a 41-21 halftime lead.
When the Chokers did start heating up, everyone contributed. Grays Harbor had four players score in double digits and was led by Alexia Thrower and Angela Sikora, who each tallied 24 points.
Thrower and Sikora formed a vicious one-two punch with Thrower having a great game finishing at the rim. When the Thunderbirds focused their attention on locking down the paint, the Chokers were able to kick it out to Sikora for open jumpers.
Sikora had her mid-range game working but was also effective from deep, hitting four of her nine 3-point attempts.
Estelle Wilson and Destanee Sunchild also played important roles on defense. Wilson was responsible for keeping Highline’s talented guards in check. Sunchild had an equally tough task of negating some of Highline’s size and contested a lot of shots inside, resulting in numerous Highline empty possessions.
With the game well in hand midway through the second half, Allan was able to rest some starters in preparation for today’s contest against division runner-up Lower Columbia.
“Its a huge game. We could probably clinch our first league title. It’ll be a good battle that gets us ready for the playoffs,” he said. “They’re well-coached, they have a great team and we’re hoping our mismatches helps us win again.”
MEN: T-Birds 86, Chokers 76
The Choker men (1-9, 4-20) faced a tough task as the T-Birds brought a lot of size to the table while four of the GHC’s players were battling illness.
Both of those hurdles played a big role in the loss as some of GHC’s more explosive players looked a step slower and had trouble driving the lane against Highline’s big men.
To avoid the problems of going inside against a larger team the Chokers ran a lot of plays to get Daishond Jackson open looks in the high post.
Jackson played well in the post, while Zach Marrotte was a long-range scoring threat and added 20 points, but the Chokers were never able to close the gap.
“First time we played Highline we were getting smacked at their place and we never really got down like that to them here,” said Choker head coach Kevin Williamson. “We kept it more competitive his time. but we could never get inside six and put the pressure on them. Highline always got a timely shot.”
Highline’s timely shooting came in handy in the final 10 minutes of the game when the Chokers made it a two-possession game.
Grays Harbor went into a press in the final minutes but couldn’t force the turnovers to get back in the game as the Chokers had to settle for a spirited loss in front of the home crowd.
Highline 13 8 11 18 — 50
GHC 16 25 20 25 — 86
Highline (50) — Kahele-Madali 2, Perrien 16, Kremers 4, Kaye 9, Demic 4, Alavi 7, Merdrano 7, Haggerty 6, Ando, Martinez 2. FG — 19-69 (.275). FT — 10-17.
Grays Harbor College (86) — Brisbois 8, Feaster, Bell 4, Wilson 10, Sunchild 2, Thrower 24, Hernandez 2, Sikora 24, Kidder 12. FG — 40-88 (.455). FT — 2-2.
Highline (86) — Vandenhazel 11, Green 9, Singleton 11, Brown 2, Rothwell 6, Harris 21, Rice 6, Hudson 6, Hester 14. FG — 32-59 (.542). FT — 13-19.
Grays Harbor College (76) — D. Jackson 12, Holifield 12, Thomas 13, Bean 8, Gillespie 1, Marrotte 20, Fischer 2, J. Jackson 8. FG —31-57 (.544). FT — 8-13.
Halftime: Highline 46, Grays Harbor 39.