DAYTON - DeSales survived a stubborn Dayton squad and two second-half rallies to win a foul-plagued Southeast B Southern Division girls basketball game that saw four Dayton starters foul out, and DeSales take 31 foul shots in the second half. The Irish took the regular season-ender, 63-53, here Friday.
Caitlin Duncan paced DeSales with 27 points, 15 of which came on 75-percent shooting from the charity stripe. Duncan also posted a double-double, grabbing 10 boards.
Kayla Dedloff led the Bulldogs in the losing effort with a 16-point, 11-rebound double-double of her own.
"They were very physical and we didn't handle them very well early in the game," DeSales coach Tim Duncan. "But our girls stepped it up in the third quarter and again when (Dayton) made their mini-run in the fourth."
The Bulldogs played the Irish evenly for the first 12 minutes, never letting DeSales build a lead larger than four, while twice building early five-point leads of their own.
DeSales earned some breathing room before halftime and entered the locker room up six.
Dayton grabbed the lead back with an 11-2 run to start the third quarter.
Dedloff buried two 2-pointers, and Nicole Lockard added a pair of foul shots and a deep ball to cap the run at the 4:21 mark.
After that, the DeSales free throw shooting parade went into full swing. The Irish finished the quarter with 12 shots from the free throw stripe (making nine of them) and a lone field goal by Ali Zander. Dayton managed a single field goal in the same span.
Down 48-40 entering the fourth, Dayton again rallied, this time with a quarter-opening 6-0 run that drew the Bulldogs to within two at the 6:38 mark.
But Erin Giusti's inside bucket and Annie Higgins aborted drive that fouled out Dayton's Katie Varney (the first of four Dayton players to foul out) launched the final run that would put an end to the ballgame.
DeSales finished the game on a 15-7 run. During the run Varney, McKayla Bickelhaupt, Nicole Lockard and Kayla Dedloff all fouled out.
"I had four starters sitting on the bench at the end of the game," Dayton coach Scott Hudson said. "That hurt, but it is what it is. I would like to think if we'd have had those girls on the court the outcome might have been a little different."
"It was a bit scary," Caitlin Duncan said of Dayton's fourth-quarter rally. "But we played hard and kept them off the boards and played really good defense at the end of the game."
"I told the girls they had nothing to be ashamed of," Hudson said. "They worked really hard all week in practice preparing for DeSales and the playoffs. The intensity level was high. We had a few untimely turnovers, and some instances where we didn't rebound real well. You can't do that against a really good club."
"Dayton obviously came out with great energy and effort and (in the first half) we obviously didn't match it," coachDuncan said. "In the third quarter, we took away (Dayton's) offensive boards, and got some of our own."
The win sewed up DeSales spot as the Southern Division's second seed in the 2B portion of the district tournament. The 16-4 Irish host Northern Division three seed Pomeroy Wednesday at the DeSales gym.
The Irish beat Pomeroy in their first meeting (Jan. 16) by 14 in Pomeroy.
"It's an interesting matchup," coach Duncan said. "She (Pomeroy coach Nettie Severs) is going to make us think. She does a good job of switching things up defensively. We're going to really have to see the floor."
"We expect to see a lot of defensive changes," Irish wing Erin Giusti said. "But we just have to come out and shoot well and play our defense."
Dayton enters the Class 2B playoffs as the Southern Division's four seed and makes a trip to Northern Division No. 1 Asotin on Wednesday. The Bulldogs lost their previous meeting to the Panthers at Asotin by 26.
DESALES (63) - Konen 1 0-0 3, Higgins 0 3-6 3, Acock 0 1-2 1, Duncan 6 15-20 27, Giusti 4 0-3 8, Blanc 0 3-4 3, Majerus 1 0-0 2, Hanson 0 0-0 0, Zander 3 0-2 6, Ferrel 2 4-6 10. Totals 17 26-43 63.
DAYTON (53) - Smith 0 1-6 1, Miller 0 0-0 0, Bickelhaupt 0 0-0 0, Lambert 4 3-5 12, Tate 3 0-0 6, Trump 1 0-1 2, Lockard 3 2-2 10, Varney 3 0-0 6, Dedloff 8 0-2 16. Totals 21 6-16 53.
DeSales 13 20 15 15 - 63
Dayton 15 12 13 13 - 53
3-point goals - DeS 3 (Ferrel 2, Konen), Day 3 (Lockard 2, Lambert). Total fouls - DeS 16, Day 28. Fouled out - Day (Varney, Bickelhaupt, Lockard, Dedloff). Technical fouls - DeS (Coach Duncan). Rebounds - DeS 36, Day 30. Turnovers - DeS 16, Day 22.