Fueled by 3-point shooting, three Yelm High School players scored in double figures as the Tornados snapped a two-game losing streak by handing host Shelton its fourth girls basketball loss in a row, 63-44, on Wednesday night.
Chloe Zimmerman, who nailed three 3-pointers, led the way with 16 points, while Grace Cebula, who also had a trio of treys, and Jamie Connally, who had two 3-pointers, both finished with 11 points.
In addition to the effective outside shooting, Yelm coach Russ Riches pointed to other factors that propelled his team to the victory.
“We were really solid with help-side defense in the first half,” he said after a five-point second quarter limited the Highclimbers to 17 points in the first half. “We controlled the boards and didn’t let them beat us in transition.”
Shelton was hampered by foul trouble.
After falling behind 7-0, the Climbers scored two quick baskets off assists by Timber Ware, one to Paige Johnson for a jumper and one to Decheiya Littlesun flashing through the lane for a layup.
Three minutes into the game, though, Ware, Shelton’s season scoring leader, picked up her second foul. Then, Johnson, Shelton’s leading rebounder on the season and its leading scorer against Yelm with 13 points, picked up her second foul and neither played much the remainder of the first half.
Ware returned briefly, but picked up her third foul in the second quarter and played only four minutes before the fourth quarter.
“We did a good job of driving at them and making them defend us, which led to a lot of their fouls,” Riches said.
Ware picked up her third foul in the midst of an 18-2 Tornados’ run that gave them a 35-17 halftime lead.
Shelton’s despair deepened when Zimmerman and Cebula opened the third quarter with back-to-back 3-pointers for Yelm (5-8, 3-4 3A South Sound Conference).
But the Climbers (7-5, 2-4) rallied for their best stretch of the night, making a 14-2 run of their own that cut Yelm’s edge to 43-31 before Cebula cashed in another 3-pointer to end the third quarter.
Johnson was the only Shelton player to score in double figures. Kayla Gains added seven points and Lexi Moon had five.
Yelm 15 20 11 17 - 63
Shelton 12 5 14 13 - 44
Y – Jewell 3, Sweeney 9, Els 3, Dixon 4, Sleeman 6, Zimmerman 16, Connally 11, Cebula 11.
S – Bogh 2, Ware 4, K. Johnson 2, Peterson 2, Griffin 2, P. Johnson 13, Leach 2, Gains 7, Moon 5, Littlesun 5.