The Bellarmine girls finished the Class 3A tournament just about the same way they started it – overwhelmed. The Lions watched Walla Walla senior Mikayla Ferenz put on a 22-point show, and dropped the final game 63-49 to finish sixth.
“On the third day, you’re tired, you’re sore, you’re not playing in the game you want to play in,” Bellarmine coach Kevin Meines said. “I thought our kids battled back, but they’ve got a really good player in Ferenz, and she was able to take over.”
On top of Ferenz’s performance, Walla Walla shut down Bellarmine center Claire Martin in the post. The 6-foot-4 senior scored a team-high 14 points, but only brought down three boards – Walla Walla outrebounded Bellarmine, 40-30.
Martin’s career ends on a disappointing note with the loss, but Meines praised her as an “irreplaceable” player as Bellarmine moves forward. Meines said the loss stings, but sixth is still an impressive finish.
“We need a couple of days perspective,” he said. “We’re one of the top teams in the state and have a lot of kids coming back who had their first experience here this year. Hopefully we can build on that.”
The Blue Devils take home fourth. Ferenz left the game in the final minute, and hugged Chris Ferenz, her father and Walla Walla’s coach, in accomplishment. She and her twin sister Kate – who scored five and brought down five boards against Bellarmine – graduate this year.
“I’ve been so lucky to have both of them by my side,” Mikayla Ferenz said. “I’ll probably go cry for an hour now that it’s over, but it’s a good one to go out on.”