COLLEGE PLACE — Hitting four third-quarter buckets in a row, including a trio of 3-pointers, Caitlin Duncan sparked DeSales to a 53-30 victory over Walla Walla Valley Academy here Monday night.
The Knights stayed close through the first two quarters and trailed 25-12 at intermission.
But Duncan and the Irish started the third quarter on a 17-2 run and headed to the final quarter with an imposing 44-18 advantage.
DeSales also started the game on a hot streak, scoring the game’s first eight points.
After Duncan got things started with an offensive rebound and put-back, Chantel Blanc hit a 3-pointer from the corner to make it 5-0.
Jamie Majerus added a three-point play inside to complete the opening salvo for the Irish.
Kelsie Schafer got WWVA on the scoreboard with a free throw, and Kindra Moore followed with a steal and basket to trim the early DeSales lead to 8-3. Victoria Buell then split a pair at the free throw line to pull the Knights to within four points.
Walla Walla would get no closer, however. The Irish finished the first quarter on a 9-4 run to lead 17-8.
There was less scoring in the second stanza, which saw DeSales outscore WWVA 8-4 to add to its lead.
Duncan’s barrage of 3-pointers to start the third period quickly turned the game into a rout.
"I thought we played really good defense until the third," WWVA coach Monty Buell said. "Then we left Caitlin open a little and she hit all of those shots. That is the reason she is an all-state player."
DeSales outpointed the Knights 19-6 in its big third quarter. Walla Walla rallied a bit in the fourth frame, but it was too little, too late.
Duncan finished with 27 points, eight rebounds and six steals.
"Obviously, Caitlin had a good game," DeSales coach Tim Duncan said. "She really played well."
Majerus added nine points for DeSales.
"Jamie really picked it up in the second half," Duncan said. "She really started knocking down her shots."
While the DeSales offense was clicking, the Irish defense also had something to say about the outcome.
DeSales picked off 12 steals and forced 25 turnovers, using a half-court trap for much of the game.
Later in the game, the Irish dropped back into a box-and-one zone defense.
"I thought we played good defense in the first half," Tim Duncan said. "We played well on both sides of the ball in the third quarter and then we didn’t play all that well in the fourth quarter. We fouled too much."
DeSales finished with 17 fouls, one more than WWVA.
Monty Buell said his team’s loss was due in part to its failure to execute its offense.
"We have some work to do on offense," Buell said. "The offense worked when we ran it. Other times, we didn’t set the right screen or look for the open pass."
Victoria Buell paced the Knights with 12 points, while Kristi Buell added seven points.
With WWVA playing short-handed, Victoria Buell moved from wing to the post, while Kristi Buell handled the ball.
"In addition to scoring, I thought Kristi did a real good job of bringing the ball up the court," coach Buell said.
Schafer led the Knights in rebounding with six.
"We played well," coach Duncan said. "I saw some really good play out there for only our third game. We settled for too many jump shots, instead of taking the ball to the basket, but for this early on, I’m happy with our effort."
"We had a good energy out there, we played hard," coach Buell said. "We did have a short bench and got a little tired against the DeSales press."
The Knights are now 1-1 on the season and 0-1 in league, and next play at 6 p.m. Jan. 5 at Dayton.
DeSales is 3-0 overall, 2-0 in league, and plays again at 4 p.m. Wednesday at home against Sunnyside Christian.
Desales (53) — Konen 0 0-0 0, Higgins 1 0-0 3, Klicker 0 0-0 0, Acock 0 0-0 0, Giusti 1 3-8 5, Duncan 10 4-4 27, Blanc 2 0-0 6, Majerus 3 3-5 9, Hanson 1 0-0 2, Ferrel 0 1-2 1, Warnick 0 0-0 0, Zander 0 0-0 0. Totals — 18 11-19 53.
WWVA (30) — Felice 0 1-2 1, K.Buell 1 5-6 7, Moore 2 0-0 4, V.Buell 2 7-14 12, Field 0 0-0 0, Will 0 0-0 0, Brewer 0 1-2 1, Patino 1 0-0 2, Schafer 1 1-2 3. Totals — 8 11-26 30.
DeS 17 8 19 9 — 53
WW 8 4 6 12 x — 30
3-point goals —DeS 6 (Duncan 3, Blanc 2, Higgins 1 ), WWVA 1 (V. Buell 1). Total fouls—DeS 17, WWVA 16. Fouled out— (none). Technical fouls—DeS (score book). Rebounds—DeS 23 (Duncan 8), WWVA 23 (Schafer 6). Turnovers—DeS 13, WWVA 25.