YAKIMA – There was no way Jamie Weisner was letting the Clarkston Bantams return home without the state championship trophy.
Weisner made certain the Bantams are in possession of the big gold ball this morning with an electric second-half performance, scoring 26 points and grabbing eight rebounds in the final 16 minutes as Clarkston outlasted East Valley (Yakima) 53-41 Saturday night for the girls State 2A championship in the SunDome.
The Oregon State-bound senior finished with 33 points and 12 rebounds. She was named Most Valuable Player by media covering the event.
Clarkston (25-1) had been to the title game once – in 1991, when the Bantams finished second.
With her team struggling in every phase of the game and facing a 23-14 halftime deficit, Weisner scored Clarkston’s first 11 points of the third period. When Sierra Higheagle added a lay-in with 3:54 remaining in the period, the Bantams were tied at 27 and the Red Devils were flustered.
Clarkston, a team known for its propensity to hoist shots from 3-point range, took just five long shots in the second half after hitting just 2 of 13 in the first half. Shooting almost exclusively from the paint, Clarkston hit 14 of 21 second-half field goals.
The onslaught continued in the fourth period. Clarkston scored 11 straight points – nine by Weisner – to take a 44-32 lead. East Valley never recovered.
“One of the drawbacks in letting the kids know they have the green light if they think they have a good shot is sometimes you have a half like that,” Bantams coach Scott Thompson said. “We changed our offense in the second half and it worked out.’’
Thompson resigned at the conclusion of the 2011 season, wanting to spend time watching his daughter Katie, a junior reserve. But after guiding the team through the summer, and with no replacement in sight, he agreed to return. Katie led the charge in convincing him to return.
Thompson’s not certain if he will return next year. If he doesn’t, he closed out the Clarkston phase of his career sharing the state championship with his daughter.
Clover Park 69, Pullman 48: Boys tournament MVP Ahmaad Rorie scored 28 points and the 2011 champion Warriors defeated the Greyhounds in the game for fourth and sixth places.
Ben Pavish had 18 points for Pullman (22-4). Austin Drake was named second-team all-tournament for the Greyhounds.