Not many teams in the Mid-Columbia Conference are going to be able to contain Jordan Thomas for an entire game.
Hanford found out Friday that it didn’t not have the players to stop Hermiston’s 6-foot-4 post. Thomas poured in 26 points — 15 in the second half — to lead the Bulldogs to a 61-33 MCC road win over the Falcons.
“Jordan is back in the groove and the young girls are learning to get her the ball,” Hermiston coach Juan Hernandez said. “I challenged Jordan at halftime. I told her these girls should not be able to guard you. She was able to stay on the court. She didn’t get tired or get in foul trouble.”
Thomas scored the first two baskets of the game, and the Bulldogs (4-4 overall, 2-3 MCC) raced out to a 17-7 lead by the end of the first quarter.
Hermiston got into a bit of foul trouble in the second quarter, and Hanford capitalized.
The Falcons (2-7, 1-4) outscored the Bulldogs 15-8 in the second quarter, with 12 of their points coming at the free-throw line to pull within 25-22 at the half.
“We needed to do a better job defensively,” Rodriguez said.
It was all Hermiston in the second half.
The Bulldogs went on a 20-4 tear in the third quarter, getting 3-pointers from Jazlyn Romero, Kaylee Young and Katelyn Heideman, and nine points from Thomas.
It was more of the same in the fourth. Rodriguez emptied the bench with 2:18 to play, and the Bulldogs won their third game in a row.
Young added 12 points for Hermiston, while Romero had 11.
Sophomore Kendall Dowdy had three points, but played solid defense and rebounded well, drawing praise from her coach.
“Kendall thrives on confidence,” Rodriguez said. “She’s athletic and she’s going to be very good for us in the coming years.”
Iliana Moran and Emily Beattie each had seven points to lead the Falcons.