STILL DANCIN' - Big Bend women reach NWAC Final Four

The Big Bend Community College women's basketball team celebrates after beating Everett and advancing to the Northwest Athletic Conference Final Four.
The Big Bend Community College women's basketball team celebrates after beating Everett and advancing to the Northwest Athletic Conference Final Four.

By RODNEY HARWOOD of the COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

EVERETT — At the end of the day, it was just a bunch of young women and a coach that told them they belonged.

Big Bend didn't exactly stun the basketball world, but the No. 4 seed out of the East are one of four teams left standing at the NWAC women's basketball championships following Friday night's 89-79 victory over Everett Community College in the Elite Eight.

The words "Final Four, Final Four, Final Four" reverberated from the Vikings' locker room and down the hall. Big Bend hadn't been to the NWAC tournament in 15 years, so it was uncharted territory, even for coach Preston Wilks, the winningest coach in Big Bend women's basketball history.

"It's really unbelievable. I've said it all year long that we deserve to be here and we're a Final Four team. But to come here and do it, it's just so gratifying," Wilks said. "I told the kids all we have to do is get here, and I believe we'll make it to the Final Four.

"When I first started saying it, they looked at me like 'Coach, we're not even in the tournament, how can you be talking about the Final Four.' But that's how much I believe in these guys and now we're there."

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