YAKIMA – West Valley’s “Love-Shaq” was too much for the Black Hills Wolves at the SunDome on Wednesday.
The Eagles, behind 27 points and 22 rebounds from their front line duo of Shanique Nilles and Hannah Love, powered their way into the quarterfinals at the girls State 2A basketball championship with a 48-34 win.
The Eagles (23-0), who won their fifth consecutive first-round state game, will play Ellensburg at 9 tonight in a quarterfinal.
Nilles and Love laughed and admitted that they sing the 1980s B-52s hit “Love Shack” to themselves to keep things light. But there was no levity as the Eagles took care of their business.
“Our thing is to not be satisfied with being 22-0,” Love said after the game “Coach (Lorin Carlon) is always reminding us to focus on what we do and things will work out.”
That included holding the Wolves to 29 percent shooting, winning the battle of the boards 46-36 and forcing 18 turnovers. That in large part offset a 30 percent shooting night from the floor and 42 percent from the free-throw line.
Pullman 44, East Valley-Yakima 25: The Greyhounds overcame first-half offensive struggles to topple the Red Devils. Pullman shot just 16.7 percent from the field in the opening half and 46.7 percent from the free-throw line.
Pullman (17-6) will play River Ridge (23-1), the 2007 and 2008 champion, in the quarterfinals at 4 p.m.
Pullman is 6-2 in the first round at state. The game was the fourth between Pullman and East Valley in the state tournament since 2003. Pullman holds a 3-1 edge in the brief series.
Six-foot-5 junior Shelby Cheslek led all scorers with 13 points and finished with 14 rebounds.
Burlington-Edison 60, Clarkston 44: The Tigers knew that Kelli McCann-Smith would get her points – she finished with 27 – but they shut everyone else down to advance to the quarterfinals.
The Bantams have lost seven straight state tournament games.
Clarkston led 30-27 at halftime but hit just 3 of 24 field-goal attempts in the second half and totaled just 14 second half points.