WALLA WALLA - Try as they might, the Weston-McEwen TigerScots couldn't overcome their own mistakes late Tuesday afternoon during the opening round of the girls portion of the D.A. Davidson Christmas Classic basketball tournament at Whitman College's Sherwood Center.
The Echo Cougars used a fast start and a furious finish to defeat W-M 40-31 and advance to today's semifinal round of the tournament where they were matched against undefeated Columbia-Hunters. The Cougars, 8-1, meet the 8-0 Lions in a 5 p.m. showdown after Columbia-Hunters dismantled Overlake 72-10 in Tuesday's other upper bracket girls first-round game.
Weston-McEwen, which saw its season record slide to 2-7, faced 2-6 Overlake this morning at 10 in a consolation-bracket game.
The TigerScots committed 36 turnovers in Tuesday's defeat, which limited their opportunities at the offensive end of the floor. And when they did manage to put up shots, they misfired more often than not, shooting 12-for-37 (.32 percent) from the field.
The vast majority of Weston-McEwen's turnovers were the result of misguided passes that were often telegraphed and usually a count late. And the Cougars took advantage by jumping into the passing lanes.
"That's not been a problem for us this season," W-M coach Amber Doremus said. "It felt a lot like the Christmas break.
"And we couldn't convert our opportunities," Doremus added. "We couldn't get our shots to fall."
Still and all, the TigerScots hung around until the final minutes.
Echo sank five of its first six shots from the floor, including a 3-pointer by Evangalyn Marcum, and raced to an 11-0 lead 3:12 into the contest. The Cougars led 17-2 with 2:04 remaining in the opening period and then went flat.
From that point until 5:48 remained in the game, Echo converted just three field goals as the TigerScots slowly fought their way back into the game.
A basket and a free throw by Tiffany Cain pulled the TigerScots within 17-5 at the end of the first period, two baskets by Cain and a field goal and a free throw by Molly von Borstel made it an eight-point game, 20-12, at halftime. The TigerScots shaved another point off the Echo lead in the third period. And when Taylor Rudolph drained a 3-pointer and Cain put back a rebound bucket to open the fourth quarter, Weston-McEwen found itself within two points, 28-26.
But that's when the Cougars responded with a 10-0 run capped by Taylor Tarvin's second 3-point basket of the game that restored order and put the game safely in the win column.
"We could just never get over that edge," Doremus said.
Tarvin led all scorers with 15 points and Kristen McCallum was also in double figures for the Cougars with 10 points. Cain led the TigerScots with 10 points and a game-high 11 rebounds.
In Columbia-Hunters' lopsided victory over Overlake, Lindsay Loe and Elizabeth Larrew tallied 22 points apiece and Krista Colvin chipped in with 10 points. Katie Hill tallied five points for half of Overlake's offensive output.
Echo 40, W-M 31
WESTON-MCEWEN (31) - Thompson 0-0 0-0 0, Coffman 0-1 0-0 0, Christopher 1-5 0-0 2, Rudolph 1-3 0-0 3, Entze 1-2 0-0 2, Thompson 1-1 0-0 2, Cain 4-17 2-4 10, von Borstel 1-2 3-8 5, Youncs 2-4 1-2 5, Zimmerman 1-2 0-2 2. Totals 12-37 6-16 31.
ECHO (40) - Souza 0-3 0-0 0, Tarvin 4-13 5-8 15, Lancaster 0-1 0-4 0, K. Elligsen 1-2 0-1 3, McCallum 4-12 2-4 10, Marcum 1-6 0-2 3, L. Elligsen 3-13 3-4 9, Round 0-2 0-0 0. Totals 13-52 10-23 40.
W-M 5 7 9 10 - 31
Echo 17 3 8 12 - 40
3-point goals - W-M (Rudolph), Echo (Tarvin 2, K. Elligsen, Marcum). Total Fouls - W-M 16, Echo 13. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Echo 40 (K. Elligsen 9), W-M 37 (Cain 11). Turnovers - W-M 36, Echo 17.
C-H 72, Overlake 10
COLUMBIA-HUNTERS (72) - Colvin 13, Loe 22, Larrew 22, A. Flett, K. Flett 6, Hart, Morado, Jones 9.
OVERLAKE (10) - Bazley, Scilley, Gold 3, Sun, Golitz, Hill 5, Paterra 2, Kattle, Spencer.
Col-Hunters 23 28 12 9 - 72
Overlake 3 3 0 4 - 10