Jazlyn Romero scored a game-high 16 points, and Hermiston secured a spot in the 3A regional tournament with a 54-23 Mid-Columbia Conference road victory Saturday over Southridge.

“It was ugly,” Bulldogs coach Juan Rodriguez said. “We didn’t play overwhelmingly well, but we got a win. We missed some easy baskets and had too many turnovers.”

The Bulldogs (6-10 overall, 4-8 MCC) led 10-5 after the first quarter, then went on an 18-7 run in the second quarter for a 28-12 lead at the half.

Romero scored 11 of her points in the first half, while Jordan Thomas scored six of her 15 points before halftime.

A 12-2 run by the Bulldogs in the third extended their lead to 40-14.

The Suns scored nine points in the fourth quarter — all at the free throw line. Southridge went 13-for-24 from the line to score more than half of their points.

While the win was nice, Rodriguez said he told his team they would be keeping track of two stats Saturday night — offensive rebounds and deflections.

“We had 17 offensive rebounds and seven deflections. When you have that many offensive rebounds, it gives you more possessions,” Rodriguez said. “I’m glad they responded to that.”

Freshman Mia Hernandez, who transferred from Sunnyside right before Christmas, added eight points, all in the middle quarters.

“Mia came out of her shell a little bit,” Rodriguez said. “I know she can play. She can be a little timid. I’m pleased with her performance today.”

The Suns (5-11, 1-11) got six points from Bailie Brisbois, and five from Abril Mendez.

Hermiston at Pasco

Hermiston got off to a slow start Jan. 15, and never was able to get any momentum as host Pasco rolled to a 67-52 Mid-Columbia Conference victory.

“We didn’t play very well,” said Hermiston coach Juan Rodriguez, whose team shot 35 percent from the floor. “It was disappointing all the way around. We had a good practice yesterday, and I thought we would be motivated to play hard. They hit some big shots that deflated us.”

Hermiston led 4-2 early on with baskets by Jordan Thomas and Sydney Stefani, but Pasco went on a 14-7 run the last 3:42 of the quarter to take a 21-12 lead.

Pasco hit five 3-pointers in the first, with Aniyah Heavens hitting two. Heavens finished the game with a team-high 22 points.

Pasco stretched its lead to 14 points in the second quarter, but six consecutive points by Hermiston trimmed the deficit to eight — 28-20. Pasco led 32-22 at the half.

Hermiston got as close as 60-51 in the final quarter, but could not climb out of the hole.

“We could just never get stops, and we never got them to be uncomfortable,” Rodriguez said. “They did a good job of creating on their own.”

Hermiston playmaker Jazlyn Romero, who was held scoreless in the first half, scored nine points in the fourth quarter and finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and four assists.

“She struggled a bit tonight,” Rodriguez said. “She and Jordan were out of synch, and when that happens, it’s hard for us to score.”

Kaylee Young added 15 points, including three 3-pointers, and five rebounds. Thomas chipped in 11 points and five rebounds.

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