EPHRATA — Macy Hampton settled into a 19-point night, overcoming a slow start in Tuesday night’s all-important game against Ephrata.
It wasn’t important because they needed to win, the Huskies (5-15, 5-13 CWAC) had already locked into the No. 8 seed and qualified for the CWAC District Tournament for the first time in nine years. Tuesday night’s game was important in terms of momentum and the Huskies caught a young Tigers team, winning a low-scoring affair, 38-32.
“This means a lot because our older girls have worked really hard. They’ve gone through the process of getting their butt kicked year after year, so this is good for them,” Othello coach Josh Tovar said. “I’m excited for them. They didn’t give up. We started (tonight) really, really slow, but they kept working and finished strong.”
The game had a certain strangeness to it in that it was 5-2 after the first quarter and Ephrata took a 12-8 lead into the intermission. But Hampton, who joined the Huskies’ 1,000-point club earlier in the season, connected on a 6-foot jumper to make it a tie game at 22-22 30 seconds into the final period. The 5-foot-8 Huskies senior made a couple of free throws inside of four minutes to give Othello a 30-24 lead and a little breathing room.
“We’re the No. 1 ranked defensive team in the league, but we’ve struggled to score at times. It was Senior Night and we wanted to win, but we didn’t need it to get in,” Ephrata coach Dale Hagy said. “We’re a bunch of young kids that have never had to make the big play because there was somebody else. They’re young …”
Hampton was 5 of 6 from the free-throw line down the stretch. Ephrata’s Sydnee Pixlee hit a runner off the glass to make it 35-29, but that’s as close as the Tigers would get.
Hampton finished with a game-high 19 points, including 7 of 8 from the line. Ashley Perez added seven and Alexis Coronado had six. Isabel Buchert led the Tigers with nine points and Pixlee finished with 7.
No. 7 Ephrata (6-14, 6-12) will play at No. 6 East Valley (9-11, 7-11) on Friday to begin the CWAC District tournament. No. 8 Othello will play at No. 5 Ellensburg (13-7, 12-6).