Irish girls fall to Asotin and out of play in SE2B finale

The Panthers pick up a 51-37 win off DeSales' poor field-goal shooting Saturday night.

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By ROY ELIA

of the Walla Walla Union-Bulletin

WALLA WALLA - Asotin took advantage of a quick start and DeSales' poor field-goal shooting, coasting to a 51-37 victory in the finale of the Southeast 2B District 9 girls basketball tournament on Whitman's George Ball Court at Sherwood Center Saturday night.

The win earned the Panthers the No. 2 seed from District 9 heading into a Class 2B regional tournament next weekend in Wenatchee.

DeSales - which began district play on Tuesday with a 56-32 win at Asotin - ended its season 14-8 after shooting 20 percent (10-of-51) from the field.

"That's the way it goes," DeSales coach Tim Duncan said. "Asotin was ready to go and we came out a little flat."

Both teams shot 12 times in the opening quarter. The Panthers made just three field goals and the Irish only two.

Asotin was able to build a six-point lead, 12-6, by the end of the first quarter on the strength of five free throws in eight attempts.

The Panthers used 50-percent field goal shooting in the second quarter to assume command of the game. Jessica Prior scored seven points and JaLisa Jose added six as Asotin built a lead as big as 18, 24-6 at the 3:46 mark, before settling for a 15-point spread, 29-14, at halftime.

DeSales made just four of its 20 shots in the first half.

"We did not play very good defense in the first half," Duncan said. "We came out flat as opposed to what we have been doing and they took advantage of it."

The Irish had numerous chances to get back in the game in the third quarter because of its defense - which held the Panthers to six points and forced seven turnovers.

Annie Higgins scored five points in the period, but DeSales still trailed by double figures, 35-24, after three.

Stephanie Ferrell, who went scoreless through the first three frames, tried to bring the Irish back in the fourth quarter. Ferrell tallied all 13 DeSales points in the frame and pulled the Irish within nine, 44-35, with a 3-point basket with 2:05 remaining.

But Asotin would salt the game away with 10 charity tosses in 13 attempts during the final eight minutes.

"I was leery about this game because of how hard we played last night (in a district-championship loss to Waitsburg-Prescott Friday) and (how) badly we beat them Tuesday," Duncan said. "That may have been in the back of their minds."

Saturday's game was the last for Irish seniors Erin Giusti and Megan Moberg.

"It's hard to see seniors leave," Duncan said. "Erin was a great contributor to a state-qualifying team last year and Megan made tremendous strides over the last four years. I hate to see them go."

Asotin 51, DeSales 37

DESALES (37) - Konen 0-2 1-2 1, Higgins 3-11 2-2 11, Buley 0-1 0-0 0, Giusti 0-12 2-2 2, Blanc 1-5 1-2 3, Moberg 0-2 1-2 1, Zander 2-4 2-2 6, Lyons 0-2 0-1 0, Ferrell 4-12 3-4 13. Totals 10-51 12-17 37.

ASOTIN (51) - Heitstuman 0-0 0-0 0, Prior 4-13 6-8 15, Whittaker 0-4 2-4 2, Nelson 0-4 6-6 6, Shriver 1-2 0-0 2, Reynolds 5-9 1-3 12, Jose 5-7 1-2 11, Swearingen 1-1 1-1 3, Johnson 0-0 0-0 0, Proctor 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 16-40 17-24 51.

DeSales 6 8 10 13 - 37

Asotin 12 17 6 16 - 51

3-point goals - DeSales 5-22 (Higgins 3-9, Ferrell 2-6, Konen 0-1, Blanc 0-2, Giusti 0-4), Asotin 2-3 (Reynolds 1-1, Prior 1-2). Total fouls - DeSales 20, Asotin 18. Fouled out - DeSales (Higgins). Technical fouls-none. Rebounds - DeSales 37 (Giusti 9), Asotin 40 (Jose 10). Turnovers - DeSales 15, Asotin 15.

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