PENDLETON — It wasn’t long Saturday before the Blue Mountain Community College women knew they’d be getting their first NWAACC East Region victory of the 2012-13 season. The Timberwolves led 54-11 at halftime in Pendleton against Treasure Valley Community College.
So the remaining 20 minutes became about something more in an eventual 98-46 Timberwolves’ victory. Coach Christy Martin had her players focusing in on a narrower path. With the final never really in doubt, the T-Wolves wanted every possession, every shot practiced to perfection. Don’t look any farther ahead than right now, Martin instructed, the kind of game that she wants the women’s basketball team running each game.
And Blue Mountain (6-7, 1-0 NWAACC-E) did, right down to the buzzer despite a better than 2:1 point advantage in its favor. The T-Wolves continued to press for the hoop, falling just short of the century mark when a final-possession layup went off the mark.
The Timberwolves were trying to work for the future within this one game, and that meant getting guard Kim Pickett as much time on the court as possible. The supporting cast around her rotated to the bench throughout the second half, but Pickett remained.
“We have to do what’s best for our team and what’s best for us is to make sure Kim is on the floor the whole time and is conditioned to do so,” Martin said.
Pickett, the T-Wolves freshman point guard from Los Angeles, Calif., got plenty of exercise Saturday. She threw up 28 shots, or about a third of the team total, while sinking 15 for a career high 40 points. And not just a collegiate career high, she said. She’d never topped that 40-point plateau even dating back to games in the driveway as a kid.
She added nine assists to her 40 points in more than 36 minutes of game time. Her point total included six 3-pointers.
“When the team plays well, I play well,” Pickett said. “I push them and they push me, we push each other and that’s when we have great games.”
Shay Rodriguez went for 17 points and nine rebounds and Hailey Markham-Patti scored 14 with seven rebounds as Blue Mountain also won the rebounding battle 60 to 40.
Treasure Valley (1-11, 0-1 NWAACC-E) made some halftime adjustments to keep the score from truly getting absurd and hung around in the second half. BMCC only outscored the visitors 44-35 after the intermission, with the largest lead of the game reaching 58 points at 96-38. TVCC reeled off eight of the last 10 points, though, to give the score its final look.
Gigi Rodriguez’s 17 points led the Chukars. No other player scored more than seven.
Blue Mountain had lost three straight and five of seven entering Saturday’s home opener, and though the final score was exaggerated because of a struggling opponent, the outcome is a confidence booster for the T-Wolves as they dive deeper into league play.
“We know what we’re capable of, we’ve always known what we’re capable of,” Pickett said “Today just really gives us that push to let us know, ‘OK, we’re on the right track, we’re doing what we’re supposed to do.’ ”
Contact AJ Mazzolini at firstname.lastname@example.org or (541) 966-0839.