Asotin Panther pressure defense sinks Pomeroy Pirates

Asotin hands Pomeroy's girls their third loss of the season by the Panthers, 58-38, behind a defense that forced 26 Pirate turnovers.

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Asotin's Jessica Prior (No. 14) appears to be taking a bite out of the hand of Pomeroy's Karlie Martin (No. 33) as Prior snuck up from behind and made the steal during the second period Monday afternoon at Whitman College's George Ball Court.

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Pomeroy's Karlie Martin, right, gets a clean block on the shot by Asotin's Jessica Prior.

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While cheerleaders showed off their athletic ability, basketball players showed off their cheerleading abilities as Pomeroy's Melissa Bartlow, #31, and Michelle Fitzgerald, #23, led the bench in 2nd period celebration during a Pirates rally from an early deficit to tie the game.

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While basketball players demonstrated their ball control during State District 9: 1B and 2B basketball games Tuesday afternoon at George Ball Court on the Whitman College campus, cheerleaders showed off their fall control during the Asotin Cheer Squad's halftime show at the Pomeroy versus Asotin girls game. Even with the chaos of the waiting hands, the spinning, up-in-the-air girl made a smooth and safe landing. More games are in store for the coming days as postseason play goes into full swing.

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A loose ball exhibits some serious hang-time as Pomeroy's Sadie Slaybaugh and Asotin's Cheyane Nelson charge after it.

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The Panthers' Jessica Prior appears to be taking a bite out of the hand of Karlie Martin as Prior snuck up from behind and made the surprise steal during 2nd period play Monday afternoon at George Ball Court.

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Pomeroy's Melissa Bartlow, #31, and Asotin's Shelby Barnes battle for control of an up in the air game and ball.

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Asotin's Jessica Prior goes over a falling Taelor Braun of Pomeroy for the ball.

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WALLA WALLA - Asotin proved you can beat a team three times in a season in Southeast 2B District semifinal girls basketball play against Pomeroy at Whitman College's Sherwood Center Monday.

The Panthers, who beat Pomeroy twice in the regular season, pressured the Pirates into 26 turnovers and held them to 14-of-47 shooting in posting a 58-38 win.

"Asotin is a good team," Pirate coach Nettie Severs said. "They deserved this win. They worked really hard."

The victory punches a state ticket for the Panthers, but first they play for the No. 1 seed Saturday at 5 p.m. at Whitman.

The Pirates play Waitsburg-Prescott Wednesday at 6 p.m. at Whitman. They got to the semifinal with a 40-32 victory over DeSales last Wednesday, and need to win consecutive elimination games Wednesday and Saturday to advance to state.

"It's hard because we played so well on Wednesday (the win over DeSales)," Severs said of the loss. "We realized our potential, and then to come out (Monday) and not show that, is hard.

"We had a lot of nerves today," she said of her senior-less roster. "A lot of kids had never been in a big game like this. The nerves were there, but we just didn't get it done. That's all there is to it."

Nerves, and/or Panther pressure, added up to the Pirates turning the ball over on their first four possessions.

The Panthers took advantage.

Kelsey Shriver's 3 opened a 10-2 Panther lead with four minutes left in the first quarter.

The Pirates had an answer to the Panther's run as Hailey Hyer's bucket started a 12-3 Pirate run. HayLee Koller drained a trey to cap the run and beat the first-quarter horn, and Pomeroy grabbed a 14-13 lead.

The lead was short lived as Jessica Prior drained a Panther 3, but Kindsey Bott hit a Pirate deuce to produce the last tie of the game at 16-16 with 5:55 left in the half.

Asotin got a free throw from Zara Reynolds - one of five she made in the quarter - to break the tie and start a 14-0 Panther run.

Jalisa Jose, who led the Panthers with 14 points, connected with 1:53 left in the second period for a 30-16 Panther lead.

Pomeroy rallied on a Koller 3, and buckets from Melissa Bartlow and Sam Smith, to go to intermission down 32-23.

"We fought back," Severs said of the Pirates' first half. "We played hard until we really got down in the middle of the third quarter, then you could see the wind come out of our sails."

Shelby Barnes scored five of her 13 in the third quarter, Asotin forced eight Pirate turnovers and held Pomeroy to four points as the Panthers built the lead to 44-27 after three and coasted home.

Koller led the Pirates with 10 points, and Bott added eight. Hyer grabbed a team-leading seven boards, even though the Pirates gave up 20 offensive rebounds and loss the battle of the boards, 44-33.

"At times, (tonight) each individual player had their time of playing well," Severs said. "Then, we didn't put it together like we did Wednesday night. They (the Pirates) know that. Hopefully, we can get back to that point. The potential is there. We'll just see if we can make it happen."

ASOTIN (58) - J. Prior 2-4 0-0 5, Barnes 4-10 5-7 13, Proctor 0-0 1-2 1, Nelson 3-7 0-0 8, Shriver 1-5 0-0 3, Reynolds 1-10 6-10 8, Jose 6-10 2-3 14, Franklin 2-2 0-0 4, Swearingen 0-1 0-0 0, Loop 0-1 2-6 2, L. Prior 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-51 16-28 58.

POMEROY (38) - Monahan 1-1 0-0 2, Slaybaugh 0-2 1-3 1, Smith 2-5 0-0 4, Hocking 0-0 0-2 0, Carlson 0-0 0-0 0, Bartlow 1-6 2-2 4, Martin 2-14 1-1 5, Bott 3-7 2-4 8, Koller 3-9 1-2 10, Hyer 2-3 0-0 4, Morgan 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 14-47 7-14 38.

Asotin 13 19 12 14 - 58

Pomeroy 14 9 4 11 - 38

3-point goals - Asotin 4-13 (J. Prior 1-2, Barnes 0-2, Nelson 2-4, Shriver 1-4, Reynolds 0-1), Pom 3-14 (Smith 0-2, Martin 0-6, Koller 3-6). Total fouls - Asotin 17, Pom 22. Fouled out - Pom (Bartlow). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Asotin 44 (Jose 9), Pom 33 (Hyer 7). Turnovers - Asotin 17, Pom 26. Assists - Asotin 8 (Jose 2, Barnes 2, Reynolds 2), Pom 10 (Martin 3, Smith 3).

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