WARDEN — Warden girls basketball remained perfect on the season, picking up a dominant win over visiting Kiona-Benton, 80-15.
The Cougars were a force to be reckoned with on both ends of the court from the tip in the first quarter. As a team, they finished with eight steals and a block with Jlynn Rios picking up four of those steals. Warden held the Bears to just four points as they pulled way out in front going into the second quarter at 29-4.
Warden kept it going in the second quarter, fueled in part by Quinn Erdmann who nailed four consecutive 3-pointers in the quarter, finishing the first half with 17 points. Kiana Rios stuffed the stat sheet in the second quarter as well with five rebounds and four assists.
The Cougars took a 53-7 edge into the second half. The offense turned down a notch in the second half, but the defense remained aggressive holding the Bears to single digits in both halves of the game.
Erdmann, a freshman, led the Cougars in scoring with 20 points after picking up the start, chipping in three assists and a rebound. Both Kiana and Jlynn Rios stuffed the stat sheet for Warden. Kiana finished with 15 points, seven assists, seven rebounds and three steals. Jlynn finished with eight points, four assists, and a team-high five steals.
Jaryn Madsen finished in double figures as well with 12 points, three assists and two steals. Brecka Erdmann picked up six assists and two blocks off the bench.
Warden head coach Josh Madsen said, right now, he’s just working to keep his team sharp with the season in the grind. Madsen said they’ve worked to mix things up to try and keep an edge and admitted, even when you’re winning, the season can be very long.
“We’re trying to keep our eyes ahead of us, taking a game at a time, but also knowing we’re trying to get to a place too,” Madsen said. “So we’re constantly trying to tighten things up, trying to improve all the time, understanding that we want to win now, but we want to win when it really matters, come districts, come playoffs and on.”
Josh Madsen said they continue to feel confident the offense will take care of itself, keeping their emphasis on the defensive side of the ball where the Cougars forced 19 steals against Ki-Be.
The Warden coach said his team has rallied around this notion.
“That’s kind of fun when the girls are buying in on that side of the ball too,” Josh Madsen said.
Quinn Erdmann has picked up a few starts recently for the Cougars and is a player Josh Madsen said is working hard and he wanted to make sure was rewarded.
“Basically every other team in the league she’d be starting,”he said. “We wanted to make sure she’s staying engaged and sometimes when she’s coming off that bench she’s a little bit more complacent. It was nice to see her, tonight, getting the start and coming out and being a little more aggressive offensively.” With so much talent on the roster, Josh Madsen said as a coach it can be fun, but it’s a balancing act as well. While some teams have one or two players who they can focus around, he said his players must adjust to sometimes taking a backseat.
“OK, Quinn was hot tonight, OK, well we’re gonna have to give her the ball a little bit more,” Josh Madsen said. “For the most part, I think our girls understand that. They’ve played together long enough. They know, OK, this girl can go off.”
The Warden coach said his players enjoy the rotating hot hand, encouraging each other when it’s their night.
Warden boys basketball fell at home to Kiona-Benton on Tuesday night, 71-58.
The Bears came out red-hot shooting the basketball, pouring in an array of 3’s in the first quarter to build an early lead. Ki-Be put up 28 in the first quarter, leading the Cougars by 12 heading into the second quarter.
The hot shooting continued for the Bears into the second quarter and for most of the game as Warden was never able to pull within single-digits before the half. The Cougars matched the Bears’ first quarter score at the end of the first half as Ki-Be led 43-28 going into the locker room.
The third quarter followed suit with the first half as the Bears maintained their wide margin going into the fourth quarter, pushing the lead out to 19 at 59-38. The Cougars managed to cool the visitors off a bit in the fourth quarter, threatening to cut the lead to single-digits with a few minutes remaining.
Ki-Be responded to the surge, holding off Warden in the final minutes as the Bears held on to pick up the win on the road.
Kaden Skone and Ryan Mendoza both finished with 13 points and seven rebounds for the Cougars in the loss. Skone chipped in three assists as well.
Warden head coach Wes Richins said after the game that Ki-Be has been hot coming in, taking down Wahluke and almost knocking off Royal.
“They shot lights out, two kids made ten 3’s and they probably shot 15,” Richins said. “I thought we had a chance, we cut it to nine or something. Our shooting wasn’t very good, we had a lot of really great looks, just never got it going. We can’t win a shootout if we’re not gonna hit more than we did today.”
Richins said he was proud of his team’s fight after taking a punch early in the game from the Bears. With limited varsity experience coming into the experience, the Warden head coach said sometimes he forgets this.
“They’re learning how to play basketball, it’s been an education,” Richins said. “But the growth curve needed to be steeper. I was hoping we’d be further along right now than we are.”
Moving forward, Richins said his players just have to trust each other and work as a team. The Warden coach added that he’s confident, if his team puts up 58, they have a good chance of getting the win most nights.
Prosser 51, Othello 39
OTHELLO — Othello remained winless on the season after losing to Prosser 51-39.
Maciah Tovar led the Huskies with 15 points. Hailee Guzman had seven points, and Analee Coronado and Jeweliana Pruneda scored six each.
Other Basin scores
Warden 73, College Place 42
Warden 59, Royal 26
River View 60, Wahluke 7
Connell 66, Wahluke 11
Prosser 73, Othello 44
OTHELLO — Jorge Buenrostro scored 15 points and Othello lost to Prosser 73-44.
Saul Quinones scored 17 for the Mustangs.
Other Basin scores
Warden 92, College Place 77
Royal 64, Warden 59
River View 73, Wahluke 66
Connell 57, Wahluke 53