Waitsburg-Prescott girls secure third seed to district

W-P uses a second-quarter run to open up a lead over WWVA, and coasts to the 64-29 victory to finish the regular season.

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Waitsburg-Prescott's Megan Withers (No. 32) pulls down a rebound above Walla Walla Valley Academy's Victoria Buell (right), who can only watch out of the corner of her eye. W-P clinched the third seed out of the Southeast 2B South with the 64-29 win over the Knights.

WAITSBURG - Waitsburg-Prescott clinched the Southeast Southern Division's third seed for the Southeast 2B District tournament and a trip to second-seed Tekoa-Oakesdale of the North by laying a 35-point defeat Walla Walla Valley Academy, 64-29, in girls basketball action here Thursday.

Post Genesis Pearson led W-P with 15 points and eight rebounds. Backup post Ronnie Hulce hit a career-high 14 points.

Victoria Buell posted 11 points and eight rebounds in the loss for WWVA. Waitsburg-Prescott blew open what was a two-point ballgame after the first 10:30 by means of a 12-2 run over a three-minute span of the second period.

W-P led WWVA at halftime, 30-17. The third quarter put to rest any ideas the Knights had of a comeback. W-P outscored WWVA, 14-4, in the quarter to up the lead to 23. W-P won the rebounding battle in the quarter, 7-4, and turned the ball over seven fewer times.

The fourth quarter was more of the same, as W-P's bench took over, finishing the game on a 20-8 run.

"I thought the girls played that third and fourth quarter about as good as we can play," W-P coach Jerry Baker said. "We moved the ball well. We played good defense. The girls converted their shots that were open. That's as good as we can play.

"And I thought Ronnie (Hulce) did a super job off the bench. I am real happy with her play right now."

"We were in a sort of weird situation with having our Friendship Tournament going on on the same day as this game," WWVA coach Monty Buell said. "I had to use a lot of JV girls and mix and match lineups because of the quarters issue (limit on the amount of time one player can play in a single day). I had a bunch of girls with three quarters of eligibility and a bunch of girls with one quarter of eligibility. It works at the Friendship Tournament, but it doesn't work here.

"It's a totally different level of play in league than at the Friendship Tournament," Buell said. "And Waitsburg(-Prescott) came ready to play. W-P is just a good team, and they'll take advantage of all the mistakes you make."

The loss leaves the Knights facing a district play-in game against Northern Division four-seed Garfield-Palouse on Monday in Palouse. WWVA lost in overtime to Gar-Pal earlier in the season.

"Gar-Pal had to make a miracle 3-pointer at the buzzer to send it to overtime," Buell said. "Our girls feel pretty confident about going up and playing them again."

If WWVA wins at Gar-Pal, the Knights face Liberty Christian in Richland on Wednesday. If they lose, the Knights' season is over.

As the three-seed, Waitsburg-Prescott travels to Tekoa-Oakesdale on Wednesday. Should they win, they play again Feb. 22 at Whitman College. If they lose, they play in Colfax Feb. 20 in a loser-out affair.

"We played Tekoa-Oakesdale at home (Jan. 9) and beat them by about eight or 10," Baker said. "You never feel confident going up to Whitman County. It's a different style of play up there. It's also a two-and-a-half hour bus ride, and it's on their home court. We'll have to play a real good game to beat them up there."

Waitsburg-Prescott finishes the regular season with a 13-7 record. WWVA finishes 2-10.

WALLA WALLA VALLEY ACADEMY (29) - Felice 0 0-0 0, K. Buell 0 0-0 0, Moore 2 0-0 4, V. Buell 3 4-10 11, Field 2 4-5 8, Thompson 0 0-0 0, Will 0 0-0 0, Brewer 0 0-0 0, Hutton 0 0-0 0, Giles 0 0-0 0, Patino 0 0-0 0, Schafer 2 2-6 6. Totals 9 10-21 29.

WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (64) - Potter 3 0-0 6, Stringham 0 0-0 0, Carter 2 0-0 5, Hafen 0 0-0 0, Harris 3 1-1 8, Hulce 7 0-0 14, Poirier 1 0-0 2, Weis 2 4-6 8, Withers 2 2-5 6, Batalla 0 0-0 0, Pearson 7 1-2 15, Huxoll 0 0-0 0. Totals 37 8-14 64.

WWVA 6 11 4 8 - 29

W-P 10 20 14 20 - 64

3-point goals - WWVA 1 (V. Buell), W-P 2 (Carter, Harris). Total fouls - WWVA 15, W-P 22. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - WWVA 20, W-P 32. Turnovers - WWVA 29, W-P 15.

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