Burchell freebies the difference in Mac-Hi girls basketball victory over DeSales

Sierra Burchell's free throws with 12.1 seconds left on the clock lifts the Pioneers past DeSales, 45-44, Tuesday night.

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Mac-Hi's Sierra Burchell (center) wrestles a rebound away from DeSales' Erin Giusti (left) during the fourth quarter of their game Tuesday night at DeSales.

WALLA WALLA — Sierra Burchell capped a 20-point performance by sinking two free throws with 12.1 seconds showing on the fourth-quarter clock to lift Mac-Hi to a 45-44 victory over DeSales in a non-league girls basketball game Tuesday night at the Irish gym.

"She’s been playing well off the bench," Mac-Hi coach Curtis Pumphrey said of his team’s leading scorer, who has started most of the season. "We brought her off the bench against Ontario (last weekend) and she had a double-double."

The Pioneers trailed most of the contest and were down by 11, 38-27, heading into the fourth quarter — a period in which they outscored the Irish 18-6. Burchell had seven points in the decisive frame and Andrea Roeder, who scored 14 points on the night, added five.

Caitlin Duncan, who tallied a game-high 21 points, got DeSales off to a quick start with a couple of 3-point field goals within the first two minutes of the opening quarter. She ended up the stanza with 11 points as the Irish forged a 13-2 lead.

But Burchell brought the Pioneers back with seven straight points that cut the DeSales margin to four, 13-9, at the end of the quarter.

Mac-Hi took its first lead of the game, 14-13, when Belen Betancourt stroked a 3 at the 4:38 mark of the second quarter.

DeSales ended the period with a 14-2 spurt to take a 27-16 lead into halftime. Jamie Majerus keyed the run with six points and Duncan contributed five.

The teams played on even terms in the third quarter. Each scored 11 points.

Mac-Hi chipped away at the double-digit deficit in the final eight minutes and trailed 44-40 before Kasey Erm converted a three-point play with 21.4 second remaining to make it a one-point edge, 44-43.

The last of 34 DeSales turnovers seconds later set the stage for Burchell’s charity tosses.

"We’ve been working on our press and it helped with Andrea leading," Pumphrey said. "She’s a go-getter. She works hard."

The Irish had one final chance to tie or win the game, but Annie Higgins missed the front end of a 1-and-1 opportunity with five seconds left. A mad scramble for the ball followed and time expired before DeSales could get a shot off.

"They worked their butts off to come back," DeSales coach Tim Duncan said of the Pioneers. "For the first three-and-a-half quarters, we played extremely well. In the first two-and-a-half quarters, we played as well as we’ve played all year."

"This was by far the best comeback in a girls game that I’ve ever seen," Pumphrey said.

The Irish host Waitsburg-Prescott on Friday. Mac-Hi entertains Baker on Saturday.

MAC-HI (45) — Humbert 0-1 0-0 0, Betancourt 2-10 0-0 6, Erm 1-3 2-4 4, Roeder 6-22 1-3 14, Wells 0-0 0-0 0, Burchell 5-14 10-11 20, Holman 0-0 0-0 0, Griffith 0-0 0-0 0, Munk 0-0 1-2 1. Totals 14-50 14-20 45.

DESALES (44) — Konen 0-0 0-0 0, Higgins 2-5 0-1 6, Klicker 0-0 0-0 0, Acock 0-1 0-0 0, Duncan 7-12 3-5 21, Giusti 0-4 3-4 3, Blanc 0-1 0-0 0, Majerus 5-6 0-2 10, Hanson 1-1 0-0 2, Zander 1-3 0-0 2, Ferrel 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-34 6-12 44.

Mac-Hi 9 7 11 18 — 45

DeSales 13 14 11 6 — 44

3-point goals — Mac-Hi 3-16 (Betancourt 2-7, Roeder 1-8, Humbert 0-1), DeSales 6-13 (Duncan 4-6, Higgins 2-5, Blanc 0-1, Zander 0-1). Total fouls—Mac-Hi 15, DeSales 19. Fouled out—none. Technical fouls—none. Rebounds—Mac-Hi 28 (Erm 6, Burchell 6), DeSales 38 (Duncan 7, Giusti 7). Turnovers—Mac-Hi 20, DeSales 34.

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