Waitsburg-Prescott girls suffer first defeat of season at regionals

White Swan downs previously unbeaten W-P, 75-53, in the first round of the state tournament Friday.

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W-P's Genesis Pearson (40) finds herself all stuffed up and fouled by a trio of White Swan defenders during the first half of their regional playoff game Friday night at Universtiy High School in Spokane, WA.

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Waitsburg-Prescott's Alyssa Hafen (14) struggles for posession of the ball with White Swan player.

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Waitsburg-Prescott's Megan Withers (30) is hassled under very tight full-court defensive pressure from White Swan during their game Friday night.

SPOKANE - A swarming, attacking and aggressive pack of Cougars dropped Waitsburg-Prescott from the unbeaten ranks here at University High School Friday night in a Class 2B girls basketball regional championship game.

White Swan's pressing, trapping defense forced 27 W-P turnovers that led to 25 Cougar points. The Cougars also hit three of their six treys in a decisive 19-8 fourth-quarter run and White Swan (19-5) advanced to the 2B state quarterfinals with a 75-53 win.

"We just didn't handle their pressure at all," W-P coach Jerry Baker said. "They trapped us and we kept trying to dribble through it. We didn't take care of the ball and that was the big difference."

W-P got six points from Ronnie Hulce and five from Dionna Baker off the bench in the first period, and took its only lead of the game 17-16 following two Baker free throws with 32 seconds left in the first.

W-P forced a turnover and had a chance to add to the lead, but Jessica Sheppard picked W-P's pocket for one of 18 steals the Cougars had on the night. And though Sheppard missed her coast-to-coast drive, Amber Jones rebounded and scored with 12 seconds left for an 18-17 Cougar lead, and White Swan had the lead for good.

W-P had seven second-quarter turnovers and missed on 6-of-12 free throw opportunities (Genesis Pearson hit all four of her attempts) as the Cougars stretched the lead to 34-29 at intermission.

A Baker three-point play narrowed the White Swan lead to 35-32 two minutes into the second half.

The Cougars scored one basket and got another off their press in the course of 10 seconds to respond and run the lead to 39-32 with 5:36 left in the third. The Cougars weren't done as they upped the lead to 43-32 before Baker converted a Megan Withers feed with 4:40 to go in the third.

The Cougars' aggressive style led to foul trouble the whole night (26 fouls for the game), but W-P couldn't take advantage. W-P converted 2-of-6 free throws in the third quarter and was 17-of-36 for the game.

"We had our chances," Baker said. "We missed 19 free throws. There's the game right there."

Miami VanPelt, who led the Cougars with 15 points, 8 rebounds, and 5 assists, drained a trey to respond to two Krystal Harris free throws and push the lead back to 59-47 with 6:40 left.

Despite four points from Pearson, who took game-high honors in scoring with 18 and in rebounding with 14, the Cougars had too much quickness on this night as White Swan continued to pull away for the 75-53 win.

"We didn't get back on defense and they out fast broke us terribly," Baker said. "They got some easy points off of that."

Baker finished with 10 points and Hulce added nine as W-P dropped its first game of the year to fall to 21-1. However, W-P was still in contention for a state tournament ticket going into Saturday's loser-out game against Colfax, which lost to Lake Roosevelt 45-42 in Friday's other regional game.

"We'll regroup (Saturday)," Baker said. "We're not done yet."

White Swan 75, Waitsburg-Prescott 53

WHITE SWAN (75) - VanPelt 6-14 1-2 15, Hawk 3-4 0-0 7, Sanchey 0-1 0-0 0, Pruneda 0-2 1-2 1, Espindola 5-9 3-5 13, Zintzun 1-2 1-2 3, Swan 1-1 0-0 3, Perez 6-15 1-4 14, Scabbyrobe 0-0 0-0 0, Sheppard 3-5 0-0 6, Jones 6-15 0-3 13. Totals 31-68 7-18 75.

WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (53) - Potter 2-7 0-4 5, Goenen 0-2 0-0 0, Huxol 1-3 2-2 4, Hafen 0-0 0-0 0, Harris 0-6 4-4 4, Hulce 4-11 1-2 9, Doepker 0-0 0-0 0, Withers 1-6 0-2 3, Moss 0-1 0-2 0, Pearson 6-12 6-13 18, Hofer 0-0 0-0 0, Baker 3-7 4-7 10. Totals 17-55 17-36 53.

White Swan 18 16 22 19 75

Waitsburg-Prescott 17 12 16 8 53

3-point goals - WS 6-22 (VanPelt 2-8, Hawk 1-2, Pruneda 0-1, Swan 1-1, Perez 1-5, Jones 1-5), WP 2-10 (Potter 1-2, Harris 0-5, Withers 1-2, Moss 0-1). Total fouls - WS 26, WP 13. Fouled out - WS (Sheppard). Technicals - none. Rebounds - WS 40 (VanPelt 8), WP 49 (Pearson 14). Turnovers - WS 14, WP 27. Assists - WS 16 (VanPelt 5), WP 9 (Withers 4).

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