Nooksack Valley 45, Meridian 36

YAKIMA — Nooksack Valley senior Katrina Gimmaka scored 24 points and grabbed nine rebounds to lead the lady Pioneers past Meridian 45-36 in Wednesday's 1A Hardwood Classic opening round loser-out game. 

The victory set up Nooksack, the tournament's No. 8 seed, with a quarterfinal matchup against No. 2 seed Cashmere in the SunDome on Thursday at 9 p.m. The winner advances to Friday's semifinal round while the loser falls to the consolation bracket to battle for fourth place. 

After Meridian senior Kyrin Baklund scored off the opening tip, Gimmaka went on a personal 11-0 scoring run to put Nooksack (20-7) comfortably out in front. The Pioneers never relinquished that lead, thanks in part to a 42-29 advantage in the rebounding department.

Nooksack (42.9 percent) also out shot the Trojans (23.1), who struggled from the field for most of the game.

Meridian (20-9) sees its season come to an end with the loss. The Trojans, who reached state for a second straight season, were led by Baklund's 13 points. Sophomore Jolee Sipma added 11 points.

Eric Trent covers sports for the Lynden Tribune.