Pirates gut out 40-32 win over DeSales to open districts

Pomeroy's girls avenge an earlier loss to DeSales with a 40-32 district tournament victory.

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Pomeroy defenders Karlie Martin (No. 32) and HayLee Koller (No. 40) work against DeSales' Ali Zander (center) in the second quarter of their district tournament game Wednesday.

WALLA WALLA - Pomeroy beat DeSales, 40-32, in opening round play of the girls Southeast 2B District basketball tournament Wednesday, avenging an earlier loss and moving into the winner's bracket game next week.

"We played a game like I've expected them to play all season," said Pomeroy coach Nettie Severs. "They all did it. I'm proud of them. They played with guts tonight. I've been expecting them to, and if you're going to start, now's the time."

Pomeroy had a scare when DeSales closed a 10-point deficit in the third quarter but rallied to win.

Pomeroy got six points from Haylee Koller to overcome a 4-of-17 opening period shooting performance and grab a 9-5 lead after the first quarter.

The Pirates hit 6-of-12 second-quarter shots, led by Karlie Martin's five points, to expand the lead to 22-12 at the break.

DeSales, on the other hand, couldn't get the lid off the basket as the Irish went 4-of-21, with Caitlin Duncan's six points leading the way, in the first 16 minutes.

"We didn't run our man-to-man offense," Irish coach Tim Duncan said. "She (Severs) did a great job. We got outcoached, outplayed, and outhustled, except for one quarter."

DeSales didn't stay down long. Jamie Majerus went inside to Erin Giusti on two consecutive possessions, Annie Higgins dropped two treys, and with 3:50 left in the third, Duncan drained a 3-pointer to give DeSales a 25-24 lead. Duncan capped a 15-2 Irish run and produced a 27-24 lead with a bucket at the 2:13 mark.

"We came out a little defensively flat in the beginning of the second half," Severs said. "They set a back pick for the girl (Giusti) that cut through, and we didn't get around it or help out. We figured that out and took care of it later. (But) we got down and could've folded up, but we didn't."

"That's stuff we should've been getting all along," said Duncan of the 15-2 run. "It's all part of our offense. We played a good third quarter, and they played a good three quarters. When you win three quarters and only lose one, you're going to win the ball game."

Buckets from Koller and Sam Smith were sandwiched around another Giusti score. DeSales lead 29-28 at the end of the third period.

Koller and Giusti traded buckets to open the fourth. Sadie Slaybaugh put the Pirates up 32-31 with 6:10 left when Koller drove the lane to jump the Pirate lead to 34-31 with 4:52 to go. DeSales didn't answer.

The Irish tried to force fouls to get back in the game, which almost worked when Koller missed the front end of a one-and-one with 41 seconds left and the Pirates up 38-32.

Kindsey Bott cleaned up the miss for Pomeroy - the Pirates' 15th offensive rebound - and her put-back earned a 40-32 lead with 40 seconds left.

DeSales missed five treys over the last 1:50 and hit 4-of-22 from behind the arc for the game.

Duncan scored 11 and Giusti and Higgins had nine each to lead DeSales. The Irish play a loser-out game with Dayton at 1:30 p.m. Saturday in Colfax.

"We've been in the loser bracket before," Duncan said. "We're young and we'll see how we respond. If we respond, we'll be fine."

Koller scored 14 points and Melissa Bartlow had nine rebounds, leading the Pirates.

Pomeroy, 9-11 on the season, moves into a winner's bracket game at 3 p.m. Monday at Whitman College against Asotin.

POMEROY (40) - Slaybaugh 1-7 0-0 2, Smith 1-2 0-0 2, Bartlow 3-7 0-1 6, Martin 3-16 0-1 7, Bolt 4-8 0-0 8, Koller 7-13 0-1 14, Hyer 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 19-53 1-5 40.

DESALES (32) - Higgins 3-12 0-0 9, Acock 0-1 0-0 0, Duncan 4-14 2-2 11, Giusti 4-6 1-2 9, Blanc 0-3 0-0 0, Majerus 1-3 0-0 2, Zander 0-6 0-0 0, Ferrel 0-3 1-2 1. Totals 12-48 4-6 32.

Pomeroy 9 13 6 12 - 40

DeSales 5 7 17 3 - 32

3-point goals -Pom 1-10 (Smith 0-1, Martin 1-8, Koller 0-1), DeS 4-22 (Higgins 3-10, Duncan 1-7, Giusti 0-1, Blanc 0-3, Ferrel 0-1). Total fouls-Pom 11, DeS 14. Fouled out-none. Technical fouls-none. Rebounds-Pom 42 (Bartlow 9), DeS 34 (Majerus 7). Turnovers-Pom 20, DeS 20. Assists-Pom 10 (Koller 3), DeS 8 (Majerus 3).

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