MOSES LAKE — Yakima Valley couldn’t seem to maintain the comfortable leads it established multiple times at Big Bend Saturday afternoon.

Turnovers and poor 3-point shooting plagued the Yaks’ offense, but they came through on both ends of the floor down the stretch to pull out a 77-70 win. Even though foul trouble limited Toppenish grad Jenni Johnson to 21 minutes, she still matched her season-high with 31 points off the bench while grabbing six rebounds.

YVC opened up double-digit leads in the second and third quarter, only to see Big Bend close the gap both times and even briefly take the lead with 7:21 remaining. Johnson’s layup provided an immediate answer and Yakima Valley scored the game’s last six points after Big Bend cut the deficit to one with 1:42 remaining.

Wapato grad Tarryn Hart filled up the statsheet with 14 points, five rebounds, four assists, three steals and two blocks for YVC (9-3 NWAC East, 19-6 overall).

YAKIMA VALLEY — Tarryn Hart 14, T’Mesh Mills 11, Willett 4, Aleck 4, Skyles 0, Jenni Johnson 31, Delp 5, N. Mills 4, Rasmussen 4, Collins 0, Lopez 0, Sinclair 0. Totals 33-65 8-13 77.

BIG BEND — Anna Yarbro 21, Kaitlyn Callahan 16, Savana Stephenson 10, Maelyn Mace 10, Gorrell 8, Fillmore 3, Harry 2. Totals 29-69 6-10 70.

Yakima Valley 18 26 15 18 — 77

Big Bend 12 25 18 15 — 70

YVC highlights: Hart 5 rebs, 4 assts, 3 stls, 2 blks; Johnson 6 rebs.

Wildcats can’t hold leadELLENSBURG — Central Washington started hot but eventually faded in a 67-59 loss to No. 8 Alaska Anchorage at Nicholson Pavilion.

The Wildcats led 23-15 early in the second quarter before Anchorage took control with a 13-0 run minutes later. Alexis Pana scored 16 points to lead three CWU players with at least 14 points.

ALASKA ANCHORAGE — Yazmeen Goo 16, Tennae Voliva 12, Safiyyah Yasin 11, Hajdukovich 9, Langi 0, Johnson 5, Pinckney 5, Motz 4, Ingram 3, Jackson 2, Fernandez 0. 25-56 10-12 67.

CENTRAL WASHINGTON — Alexis Pana 16, Kassidy Malcolm 15, Kaelie Flores 14, Maeda 6, Shaw 4, Bowman 4, Phiakhamngon 0, Richardson 0. Totals 22-51 5-6 59.

Alaska Anchorage 15 18 19 15 — 67

CWU 22 10 15 12 — 59

CWU highlights: Samantha Bowman 9 rebs, 3 blks; Malcolm 8 rebs; Flores 6 rebs; Pana 4 assts, 2 stls.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

Yaks’ rally falls shortMOSES LAKE — An offensive explosion after halftime and a late rally came up just short for Yakima Valley in an 80-79 loss at Big Bend.

Raymond Guillory III scored a team-high 23 points, including the final nine points of the game, capped off by a four-point play with six seconds left.

YAKIMA VALLEY — Raymond Guillory III 23, Chris Murphy 17, Sanchez 8, Strom 2, Gill 0, Journey Buba 14, Kennedy 6, Elutilo 5, Fulton 2, Gales 0, Dent 0, TEAM 2. Totals 27-60 18-28 77.

BIG BEND — Kaeler Kahana 24, Landon Harrington 15, Nielsen 9, Jones 9, Sobotta 3, Jonathan Thomas 11, McClary 6, Wilson 3, Biddle 0, Benthem 0. Totals 30-63 9-16 80.

Halftime: 33-26, BBCC.

YVC highlights: Guillory III 7 rebs; Trey Sanchez 3 assts, 2 stls.

BASEBALL

Central tops Acad. of ArtSAN FRANCISCO — Central Washington’s offense came alive after a slow start and three pitchers gave up just three hits to knock off Academy of Art, 7-4.

The Wildcats had just one hit before catcher Austin Ohland’s fourth-inning home run and they took the lead in the fifth when Jaden Hassell singled to score Justin Hampson. Hampson finished the day 3 for 5 with an RBI, while Trevor Tripoli went 2 for 3 with a double and two RBI.

CWU 000 123 010 — 7 10 1

Academy of Art 200 000 200 — 4 3 1

Hoefer, Frey (6), Touhey (8) and Ohland; Skillman, Manhard (6) and Gamboa.

CWU highlights: Justin Hampson 3-5, 2 runs, RBI; Trevor Tripoli 2-3, 2b, 2 RBI Tyler Hoefer 5 IP, 2 H, 2 ER, 6 K, 2 BB; Austin Ohland HR.

TRACK and Field

CWU perform well in IdahoNAMPA, Idaho — Central Washington produced two individual winners and several season-bests despite a late arrival due to road closures at the Jackson’s Invite.

In the men’s weight throw, the Wildcats basically needed to step right off the bus and into the circle, but that didn’t stop Andrew Harris from winning the event with a personal-best mark of 58-08.75. A pair of teammates were close behind with Alberto Tafoya in third place and Ethan Tonder in fourth.

Zach Whittaker won the triple jump with a mark of 45-05.75 and Daniel Calderon-Hernandez ran the 400 meters in 49.24, good enough for a new indoor school record and seventh place. Trevor Allen ran the mile in a season-best time of 4:23.52 to earn third place.

Meagan Smallbeck in the weight throw and Halle Irvine in the pole vault both brought home third place finishes for CWU.

FOOTBALL

Wildcats lose OC Bills

Kelly Bills stepped down as offensive coordinator for Central Washington to take the same position with Dixie State.

The Trailblazers, formerly a football member of the GNAC, are in the Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference in Division II, but is set to join the D-I Football Championship Subdivision next fall and play an independent schedule.

The Wildcats will begin immediately a search for a new offensive coordinator.

SOFTBALL

W. New Mexico tops CWU

ST. GEORGE, Utah — Central Washington’s Gracee Dwyer hit a two-run home run and Sydney Brown added a solo shot, but Western New Mexico scored a pair of runs in the bottom of the sixth inning en route to a 5-3 victory Saturday at the Dixie State Tournament.

CWU 000 210 0 — 3 7 1

WNMU 001 202 x — 5 8 1

Stanfield, Williams (6) and Benthagen; McClain. Cocke (4), Vega (5) and Simjian.

CWU highlights: Gracee Dwyer 2-run HR; Sydney Brown HR; Paige Liikala 2-2, 2 BB, 2b; Harlee Carpenter 2-4.

RUGBYCentral thrashes GonzagaELLENSBURG — After an early penalty goal gave Gonzaga the lead, Central Washington dominated the rest of the way for a 110-3 win to improve to 3-0.

Cam Nelson and John Dupree both recorded hat tricks to lead the Wildcats.