WAITSBURG - Waitsburg-Prescott hit 12-of-14 free throws in the fourth quarter in Southeast 2B girls basketball play Saturday.
The clutch free throws and a bucket from Dionna Baker was all W-P would score in the fourth, but it was enough to hold off DeSales as W-P clinched the SE2B title with a 50-40 win.
"We wanted to put them on the line in the fourth quarter," Irish coach Tim Duncan said. "We thought maybe we would get someone that wouldn't make some free throws. Bottom line - fourth quarter they made free throws."
W-P entered the fourth with a 38-29 lead before the Irish went to the foul strategy. Alyssa Hafen missed her first freebie with W-P up 40-30 with 3:53 left.
Hafen hit her next five to go 5-of-6 in the quarter. Kristin Potter hit 1-of-2 to cap her 21 point night. Ronnie Hulce nailed 3-of-4, and Genesis Pearson connected on 1-of-2 and W-P moved to 10-0 in league and 17-0 overall.
"They (DeSales) gave us fits all night," W-P coach Jerry Baker said. "They just kept coming at us. Hitting those free throws down at the end was big."
Behind Potter's eight first-quarter points, W-P took an 11-5 lead after one. Annie Higgins drained two treys for the Irish in the second quarter, but W-P used an Irish own bucket to escape with a 21-16 edge at intermission.
W-P cranked up its fast break to go on an 8-1 run midway in the third. Two fast break Potter buckets, off Baker and Hulce feeds, a Baker bucket off a Hafen feed and W-P led 35-22 with 2:08 left in the third.
"I though it (the game) was over," Duncan said of the W-P run. "We were going to cash it in, and they had put the game away. We battled back and had a chance to cut it to a one possession game."
The Irish answered behind treys from Higgins and Chantel Blanc to go to the fourth trailing 38-29.
After Hafen converted two free throws to run the W-P lead to 43-34 with 2:24 to play, the ensuing Irish possession resulted in six DeSales' free throws - fueled by a technical foul on the W-P bench.
With Claire Konen draining both technicals, DeSales clawed to with in 43-38 with 2:04 left.
"That technical was a four-point swing," Baker said. "It was a bad opportunity for me to open my mouth. The girls picked me up and covered me."
The Irish only got a Stephanie Ferrel bucket the rest of the way and W-P hit their free throws to hold on for the 50-40 win.
Potter's 21 led all scorers. Krystal Harris chipped in nine for W-P. Megan Withers and Genesis Pearson each grabbed eight boards to lead W-P to a 39-33 rebounding edge.
"I was real pleased with the girls," Baker said. "We could've gotten down on the technical, but we came back."
Higgins finished with 14 to lead DeSales. The Irish drop to 7-3 in league play.
"It was a great effort on our part," Duncan said. "It was a great effort at the defensive end and we battled hard on the boards. I'm proud of our kids."
W-P closes out the regular season with a home battle with Tri-Cities Prep Friday and travels to Liberty Christian Saturday.
DeSales plays at WWVA on Tuesday and wraps up the regular season at home with Dayton Friday.
WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT 50, DESALES 40
DESALES (40) - Konen 0-3 2-2 2, Higgins 5-15 1-2 14, Buley 0-2 1-2 1, Giusti 2-5 1-6 5, Blanc 1-5 0-0 3, Wujek 0-0 0-1 0, Moberg 0-0 0-0 0, Zander 0-3 1-2 1, A. Lyons 3-7 0-2 8, Ferrel 1-8 4-6 6. Totals 12-48 10-23 40.
W-P (50) - Potter 8-17 2-4 21, Goenen 0-1 1-4 1, Huxoll 0-0 0-0 0, Hafen 2-3 5-6 9, Harris 0-5 0-0 0, Hulce 1-1 3-4 5, Withers 1-6 3-4 5, Pearson 1-7 1-2 3, baker 2-5 2-4 6. Totals 15-45 17-28 50.
DeSales 5 11 13 11 - 40
W-P 11 10 17 12 - 50
3-point goals - DeS 6-25 (Higgins 3-12, Giusti 0-1, Blanc 1-4, A. Lyons 2-4, Ferrel 0-4), W-P 3-12 (Potter 3-6, Hafen 0-1, Harris 0-5). Total fouls - DeS 24, W-P 21. Fouled out - DeS (Giusti). Technical fouls - W-P (bench). Rebounds - DeS 33 (Giusti 8), W-P 39 (Pearson 8, Withers 8). Turnovers - DeS 17, W-P 15. Assists - DeS 6 (Konen 2), W-P 8 (Hafen 3).