DeSales earns third seed to state

The Irish girls defeat Pomeroy, 56-40, to qualify for the state tournament in Spokane this week.

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DeSales' Ali Zander (left) and Pomeroy's Sadie Slaybaugh race down the court during their Spitheast 2B District game Saturday at Whitman College's Sherwood Center.

WALLA WALLA - DeSales' girls beat Pomeroy, 56-40, to win the No. 3 seed to the state championship tournament in Spokane next week.

DeSales scored first and held the lead for the entire game against a senior-free Pirate team at Whitman College's Sherwood Center Saturday afternoon.

"I'm really proud of our girls," Irish head coach Tim Duncan said. "They had to fight through the loser's bracket into this. This win is all on them. They did a great job fighting."

DeSales jumped into the lead in the first quarter with two free throws by Erin Giusti, who netted 10 points for the Irish. They built a 5-0 lead until a pair of free throws by Pomeroy's Karlie Martin brought the game to 5-2 at 4:40 in the first.

But a trey by DeSales' Annie Higgins took it to 8-2, and foul trouble through the rest of the quarter ended it at 11-7.

The Irish never looked back.

Four points off free throws, plus a 3-pointer by Stephanie Ferrel, brought the Irish lead to 20-13 with 2:01 on the clock in the second quarter. Martin and Sadie Slaybaugh posted two free throws each for the Pirates. Another free throw and a field goal at the buzzer by Melissa Bartlow for Pomeroy closed out the first half, 25-18, for DeSales.

It just got harder for the Pirates in the second half, when DeSales built up a 37-23 lead on scores from Giusti, Caitlin Duncan and Jamie Majerus.

Nine points on two treys by Duncan, and one late in the final minute by Ferrel, helped the Irish close the third quarter up 46-27.

The Pirates upped their defense and outscored the Irish in the fourth quarter, 13-10, but it wasn't enough to close the lead. The Pirates also got into more foul trouble, sending the Irish to the line seven times for nine of their 11 points that quarter, closing out the game 56-40.

"They (DeSales) played like they deserved to go to state," said Pomeroy coach Nettie Severs. "They did a good job out there - they outscored, outrebounded and outhustled us tonight."

Although the season ended for the Pirates, all 11 players return next year when they move down to Class 1B.

"That's great for us," Severs said. "We're going to work hard in the offseason. If we work hard enough, we can be right in the thick of it next year."

A healthy team would also help.

"Hailey Hyer was sicker than sick out there," Severs said. "We think she's got strep throat. But she was the hardest-working on the floor for the whole game. Overall, we just weren't at our best.

"A lot of people didn't expect us to get to this point," she said of Pomeroy's season. "You always hope that the Cinderella story keeps going, but it didn't happen for us tonight."

Instead, DeSales continues to state in Spokane on Wednesday.

"I thought it was a great game," coach Duncan said. "We tweaked a few things on our offense and really pressed the inside a lot - it was very beneficial."

The girls worked hard to get the ball to Giusti, who scored 10 points for the Irish.

"She had a great game," Duncan said.

The state championships starts Wednesday in Spokane. They find out their starting time and opponent today.

DESALES (56) - Konen 0 0 0-0 0, Higgins 1 2 1-2 9, Acock 0 0 0-0 0, Duncan 5 2 7-11 23, Giusti 4 0 2-12 10, Blanc 0 0 0-1 0, Majerus 1 0 2-4 4, Hanson 0 0 2-2 2, Zander 0 0 0-0 0, Ferrel 0 2 2-2 8, Warnick 0 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 6 16-24 56.

POMEROY (40) - Hanahan 0 1 0-0 3, Slaybaugh 3 0 0-0 6, Smith 1 0 0-0 2, Hocking 0 0 0-0 0, Carlson 0 0 1-2 1, Bartlow 1 0 2-4 4, Martin 3 0 2-2 8, Bott 0 0 3-4 3, Koller 2 2 0-1 10, Hyer 1 0 1-3 3, Morgan 0 0 0-0 0. Totals 11 3 9-16 40.

DESALES 11 14 21 10 - 56

POMEROY 7 5 15 13 - 40

3-point goals - DeSales 6 (Higgins 2, Duncan 2, Ferrel 2), Pomeroy 3 (Hanahan 1, Koller 2). Total fouls - DeS 14, Pom 18. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - DeS 39, Pomeroy 14. Turnovers - DeSales 19, Pomeroy 17. Assists - DeS 11, Pomeroy 6.

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