Irish girls hold off Nighthawks

DeSales advances to play Pomeroy for the final district seed to state with the 49-36 victory Wednesday.

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WALLA WALLA - DeSales' girls held on to a lead despite a comeback by Tekoa-Oakesdale to win, 49-36, in Southeast 2B District play at Whitman College's Sherwood Center Wednesday.

DeSales advances to play Pomeroy at 2 p.m. Saturday at Whitman for the final seed to the state tournament. The Nighthawks' season is over.

Irish senior Caitlin Duncan put up a game-high 29 points, including three 3-pointers.

The teams combined for seven treys in the game.

"Obviously, Caitlin had a good game," DeSales coach Tim Duncan said.

The Nighthawks got the tip and had the first points on the board.

DeSales caught up with a basket by Ali Zander for a 2-2 game early on, but didn't take the lead until under a minute remained in the first quarter on a pair of free throws by Chantel Blanc at with 14.2 left on the clock for an Irish 10-8 lead.

"We got a little tentative in the beginning, but we settled down to play well through the rest of the first half," Duncan said.

The Irish came out strong in the second quarter, building a 21-10 lead with 2:30 on the clock after back-to-back treys by Caitlin Duncan. She hit the rim on two more attempts, landing two of four 3-pointer attempts in a row in under two minutes.

The Irish enjoyed a 26-13 halftime lead.

But Tekoa-Oakesdale wasn't ready to go home.

The Nighthawks hit the court in the second half, limiting DeSales to six points - including Caitlin Duncan's third and final 3 of the game. They closed to within 32-25 headed into the fourth period.

The game was up for grabs in the final eight minutes. The Nighthawks closed to within three points with two quick baskets by leader Desiree Chappell.

T-O cut it to two points at the 5:29 mark, but a free throw and a trey by Stephanie Ferrel put DeSales ahead again, 37-31. Tekoa-Oakesdale came within three once more, but fell behind for good at less than two minutes to go on scores by Caitlin Duncan and Erin Giusti. Caitlin Duncan went to the free-throw line three times for six points in the final 1:40.

"We didn't want to lose," said coach Duncan. "We didn't close them off like we'd like, but in this bracket we'll take what we can get."

TEKOA-OAKESDALE (36) - Perry 0 1 0-0 3, Pakootas 2 0 2-2 6, Graffis 2 0 0-1 4, Chappell 8 0 0-1 16, Groom 1 0 0-0 2, Marston 0 0 0-0 0, Neill 0 0 0-0 0, Dub 0 0 0-0 0, Wilson 0 0 0-0 0. Totals 14 1 5-6 36.

DESALES (49) - Konen 0 0 0-0 0, Higgins 0 1 0-0 3, Acock 0 0 0-0 0, Duncan 5 3 10-10 29, Giusti 0 1 4-6 7, Blanc 0 0 2-2 2, Majerus 2 0 0-0 4, Hanson 0 0 0-0 0, Zander 0 0 0-0 0, Ferrel 0 1 1-2 4. Totals 7 6 17-20 49.

T-O 8 5 12 11 - 36

DeSales 10 16 6 17 - 49

3-point goals - T-O 1 (Perry), DeS 6 (Duncan 3, Higgins 1, Giusti 1). Total fouls - T-O 17, DeS 14. Rebounds - T-O 21, DeS 33. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Turnovers - T-O 19, DeS 19.

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