By Aaron Lommers Herald Writer
YAKIMA — Apparently the Ellensburg Bulldogs didn’t get the memo.
The Archbishop Murphy Wildcats entered the 2A state basketball tournament as one of the favorites and riding a 21-game winning streak.
The Bulldogs didn’t seem to mind.
Ellensburg took it to Archbishop Murphy and cruised to a 58-40 over the third-ranked Wildcats.
“It was a very poor coaching job tonight. I didn’t have my kids ready to play, we just got outcoached,” Murphy coach John Barhanovich said.
The loss ended any hope of Archbishop Murphy returning to the state championship game. Archbishop Murphy lost to the Lynden Lions in the title game last year.
After the opening tip, it looked like the Wildcats would be just as advertised as they created turnovers which they turned into points, jumping out to a 6-0 advantage.
Then the Bulldogs woke up, led by their star Deaira Gordon. Gordon knocked down two 3-pointers, as Ellensburg went on a 10-0 run and never looked back.
“We started out on a 6-0 run and then it seemed like … Boy we couldn’t do anything,” Barhanovich said.
But the Wildcats were executing, just not finishing. The offense was producing open shots from both the inside and the outside. “We had some open looks that just didn’t go in,” Barhanovich said.
Gordon, who stands 6-feet tall, scored 27 points, well above her 16.1 points per game average. The Wildcats couldn’t find an answer for her inside-outside game.
“We knew she was going to be very good. We didn’t have an answer,” Barhanovich said.
Barhanovich, though, insisted his team did not overlook the Bulldogs.
“If we overlooked them, then that was my fault, but I don’t think so. It was just one of those nights where they had our number,” Barhanovich said.
Savannah Fletcher led Archbishop Murphy with 12 points, and Sam Pettinger chipped in 10.
As a team, Murphy shot 28 percent. Barhanovich said his team usually shoots around 45 percent.
Barhanovich said after the game that the goal was not to win the state championship, but to win a trophy on Saturday. That goal remains realistic for the Wildcats, who move into the consolation bracket.
At the Yakima SunDome
Ellensburg—Bland 6, Layman 2, Gordon 27, Kelly 7, Ba. Carlson 1, Morse 0, Bland 13, Gant 0, Quirk 2, Granado 0. Totals 16-45 20-29 58. Archbishop Murphy—Be. Carlson 1, Ericksen 3, Lyman 5, Bartholomew 3, Begert 0, Vincent 0, Pettinger 10, Fletcher 12, Rasmussen 0, Maher 0, Rebich 0, M. Carlson 6. Totals 16-57 3-7 40. Records—Ellensburg 19-6. Archbishop Murphy 21-3.