By RODNEY HARWOOD of the COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD
EVERETT — Hailey Garrity sat on the stationary bike on the track above the floor Thursday evening at the 2018 NWAC women's basketball championships getting loose before Big Bend's tournament opener with Grays Harbor.
The Vikings made their return to the NWAC tournament for the first time in 15 years and drew the No. 1 seed from the West, led by NWAC scoring leader Alexia Thrower.
"We have nothing to lose," she said.
Her expression said more like, "We didn't come here to go one-and-done," but she kept that to herself.
The East No. 4 Vikings (21-9) scored 34 points in the paint and 18 off of turnovers to stun Grays Harbor 70-59 to advance to the Elite Eight where they'll play Everett (21-6) tonight at 6 p.m.
"I'm beyond words right now," said Big Bend coach Preston Wilks, who picked up the first tournament win of his career. "It's such an honor and almost indescribable to come here and play the way we did and beat a No. 1 seed."
Thrower got hers, finishing with a game-high 25 points and 18 rebounds. But the Vikings put four-of-five starters in double digits. Garrity, a 5-foot-11 sophomore from Beaverton, Ore., muscled her way to way to 19 points and 17 rebounds. Leah Dougherty had 16 points, including three consecutive drives for the layup with 5:52 remaining to give the Vikings a 64-57 lead.
Sunnie Martinez was 3-of-11 from 3-point range and finished up the first NWAC tournament game of her career with 13 points and six assists. Miranda Johnson added 11 points before leaving in the fourth quarter with a right-leg injury.
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