Can anyone beat the Ellensburg High School girls basketball team? It’s becoming a legitimate question as the Bulldogs continue to dominate, rallying win after win.

After Friday night’s victory over Selah, 67-34, Ellensburg has defeated every Central Washington Athletic Conference foe midway through the season to complement its two non-conference victories.

“Like we talked about, it’s one opponent at a time,” said EHS head coach Jeff Whitney after the triumph. “I just challenged them that the target just gets bigger and bigger every time we go out and play, and we’re going to get everybody’s best. And that’s our mindset.”

The prospect for the Bulldogs (11-0, 9-0 CWAC) is going to be tougher from here on out. Beginning Saturday, Ellensburg will face CWAC opponents for the second time as the season moves along. It hosts an East Valley (Yakima) team that Ellensburg defeated 56-45 on Dec. 6.

“Everyone is tougher the second time around,” senior Brinley Hagemeier said. “Everyone wants us even more.”

This victory was a bit more satisfying for Ellensburg after taking losses to Selah twice last season. The Bulldogs did, however, defeat the Vikings 67-66 to advance to the District Championship.

“That one was a little extra special,” Hagemeier said.

Hagemeier led the Bulldogs with 16 points and four assists. Sophomore Dylan Philip scored 11, sophomore Kaelynn Smith added 10, and sophomore Katie Blume had nine.

Ellensburg didn’t have to be a second-half team that it was earlier this season. Its strong first quarter quickly put a large gap between it and Selah barely a minute in as the Bulldogs led 9-0. They forced three turnovers and didn’t allow a flustered Selah to take a single shot. Philip scored four of those points while notching two steals.

After a couple of triples from Hagemeier and Smith, Selah called a timeout with 4:29 left in the first quarter, 15-1.

“We knew Selah, no matter how good or how down people are, Selah’s always a tough game,” Whitney said. “If you don’t come out with the intensity and your mental mindset being right, it’s a game.”

Ellensburg shutdown Selah’s standout 6-foot freshman Kylie Sherman who came into the contest averaging over 18 points a game. Friday, Sherman scored just five points with three coming from the free-throw line. Her presence in the paint was part of the reason Ellensburg picked up eight fouls by the end of the first quarter.

Sherman’s first bucket didn’t come until 3:40 remaining in the third quarter, 48-21.

“The first half, we were doing more one-on-one stuff with her, trying to get weak side help,” Whitney said. “Second half, our guards converged, we got our big behind and we started just digging on her.”

Selah (5-6, 5-4 CWAC) shot 5-of-28 from the field after the conclusion of the first half while the Bulldogs made 15-of-27 to lead 42-18.

Ellensburg forced 18 turnovers with Philip causing five of them.

With Grandview (9-3, 7-3 CWAC) losing to Prosser on Friday night, 42-36, Ellensburg moves up 2 1/2 games on Grandview. Ellensburg will meet them for the second time on Tuesday, Jan. 14.

NEXT UP

Ellensburg hosts East Valley (8-3, 6-3 CWAC) at 3:30 p.m. today.

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