Grattic shines on her senior night win over NNU
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In their final regular season home game, the Wildcat women fought off the Northwest Nazarene Crusaders in overtime 84-76. The game was a must-win situation for the Wildcats, but they didn’t shy away from the challenge.
“We battled it out,” head coach Jeff Harada said. “I was happy for our team that we were able to come away with a win.”
The Crusaders took an early lead outscoring the Wildcats 18-12 at the end of the first quarter. While the shots went up for the Wildcats, they didn’t begin dropping until the second quarter. Taylor Baird tallied five points and one assist while Sadie Mensing added three points of her own in the first ten minutes.
“You could see some nerves early, but I’m glad we settled down,” Harada said. “It’s a lot of pressure when you have to win a game to stay alive in the playoff hunt.”
The Wildcats began to make up ground in the second quarter outshooting the Crusaders 17-11 in the second with the score tied at 29-29 going into the second half of play. The only senior Kortney Grattic and junior Sarah McGee each added four points in the second quarter.
Going into the second half, coach Harada had a clear message for his team: get the lead. CWU did just that. By the end of the third quarter the Wildcats led NNU 51-44. NNU’s Ellie Logan lead scoring for the Crusaders totaling 15 points up to that point.
In the fourth quarter tensions rose as the two teams traded points, but no one would come away with a win at the end of regulation as the score remained tied at 68-68. Going into overtime Taylor Baird reach the double-double mark with 19 points and 11 rebounds, Jasmin Edwards added 15 points and eight assists. Grattic added 11 points and eight rebounds including the game-tying three-pointer.
“The play was for her to come off a ball screen and get a flare screen for a three … but she came off the screen and she made something out of it,” Harada said.
The NNU bench shined through entire game adding 31 points to the Wildcats’ six going into overtime.
The Wildcats’ dominated the overtime period coming away with the much-needed win they had been hoping for; the final score 84-76.
Taylor Baird reached a new season high point total with 26 points, and a double-double with 12 rebounds.
“She made free-throws. Anytime Taylor can get to the line eight times and make free-throws, she is going to score a lot of points,” Harada said.
Sadie Mensing had 11 points and 6 rebounds, while Jasmin Edwards added 19 points, two rebounds, and 10 assists to the Wildcats’ score.
“We knew what was at stake. If we lost the game we wouldn’t make playoffs,” Edwards said. “We really wanted to win, and especially win it for Kortney.”
Grattic nearly had a double-double of her own with 13 points, 9 rebounds and 2 assists on her senior night. The game was Grattic’s last home game as a Wildcat. Grattic, as transfer from Whatcom Community College, joined the Wildcats in 2015.
“I’ve had a great time at Central,” Grattic said. “I wish I could have spent four years here.”
The Wildcats are in Montana to take on MSU Billings in another must-win game Thursday Feb 22 if they hope to continue their fight into playoff position.