Oakesdale eliminates Odessa
Nighthawks advance to 4th/6th place game
March 2, 2023
SPOKANE—Another big game from the dynamic duo of Jessie Reed and Marilla Hockett was enough for the Oakesdale Nighthawks to keep their season alive while sending the Odessa Tigers home in the process. Oakesdale beat Odessa 56-48 in a loser-out game at the Spokane Arena Friday, March 3.
The loss ended the Tigers’ season, one in which Odessa advanced to Arena play for the first time in program history.
Both offenses started at breakneck pace. Odessa would sink a shot, and Oakesdale would respond with a basket of its own.
The Nighthawks led 16-15 after a quarter behind balanced scoring, with four in the stat book. Grace Nelson scored nine points in the period to lead Odessa.
Odessa built a 25-20 lead in the second quarter, but Oakesdale responded with an 11-0 run of its own and led 31-27 at halftime.
The Tigers weren’t done fighting, as Odessa battled back to tie the game 33-33 in the third quarter. But Oakesdale had another run in the tank, scoring nine straight to take its largest lead of the game at 46-37 with 2:06 left in the third quarter.
Odessa was never able to draw closer than four points after that mark.
“I just think today we were not going to be denied and we found ways to get things done,” Oakesdale head coach Heidi Perry said. “Odessa’s very good, and the first two times we played them this year, they didn’t have their whole team…we knew it was going to be tough. It was probably one of our better games of the year and nice to bounce back from a tough loss yesterday.”
Reed led all scorers with 24 points and eight rebounds. Hockett added 17 points and 11 rebounds for the Nighthawks.
“After yesterday, we were pretty down. I think everybody comes here wanting to go all the way, and that opportunity was taken from us after a really hard-fought game so we decided we were going to rally and make the best of what we could,” Reed said. “Now we’re fighting for fourth place. Everybody just came out with a little bit extra today.”
Only four players were in the scoring column for Odessa, but all were in double figures.
Grace Nelson led the way with 14 points, while Melloney Deife added 13 points. Ashlyn Neilsen had 11 points and Hayden Schuh scored 10 points and grabbed eight rebounds for the Tigers.
Odessa head coach Travis Schuh was pleased with his team’s season, the most successful in program history.
“Overall, very proud of these girls,” Travis Schuh said. “First time we ever made it to the Arena. Five seniors that I have on the team have put a lot of work in since third (or) fourth grade playing all together in AAU, so it was definitely a good year.”
Oakesdale secured a trophy with the win over Odessa, its third in as many tries this season. The Nighthawks will play either Colton or Waterville-Mansfield in the 4th/6th place game at 8 a.m. Saturday, March 4 back at the Arena.