WALLA WALLA - DeSales' Irish struggled to contain Sunnyside Christian's Marisa Broersma Tuesday night, allowing the 5-foot-11 senior to put up 13 points in a 41-32 loss to the Knights in nonconference girls basketball.
Broersma, Stormeee Van Belle (5-10) and Madeline Wavrin (5-10) made up a Sunnyside Christian front court that the Irish struggled to contain and struggled to score against.
Van Belle scored eight points and Wavrin had four.
Sunnyside Christian, which is ranked No. 2 among Class 1B schools in the latest Washington AP poll, dominated the paint and held the Irish to just three 2-pointers on the night.
Luckily for the Irish's statisticians, DeSales nailed seven 3-pointers to keep the score close.
Five-foot-4 wing Stephanie Ferrel led the Irish (7-1 Southeast 2B, 12-4 overall) with nine points on two 3s, a 2-pointer and a free throw.
"I thought we defended really well, with the exception of a stretch there in the second quarter and a stretch there in the end of the second quarter," DeSales coach Tim Duncan said. "We just couldn't get our shots to fall. If we could have got some shots to fall in the third quarter, that would have been a whole different ball game because we held them to four or five possessions without scoring."
Baskets from Ashlyn Lyons and Abby Crowley started the Irish with a 4-0 lead with 5:19 left in the first. The Irish did not score another field goal until Ferrel found a rare open lane and drove for an easy layin with 2:55 gone in the third.
During that span, the Knights built a 24-14 lead on buckets from Annie Brower, Van Belle, Wavrin, Broersma and Kara Den Hoed.
"We guard hard on the ball, and everyone else is supposed to sag into the key," Duncan said. "Our players off the ball started to get out and out of position. They got a couple of drives because of that."
Two Ferrel 3s and a Claire Konen triple kept the Irish within striking distance going into the half.
After the half, Broersma scored four more points before picking up her third personal foul and taking a seat on the bench.
With the Broersma watching, the Irish went on a 5-2 run to climb back into the game at 28-21 with a quarter left to play.
The Knights' wrecking ball in the post returned to the court for the start of the fourth. Broersma went on a 5-1 run, starting with a demoralizing steal at the top of the key and an easy layin, to build an insurmountable, 11-point, 33-22 lead with 5:23 left in the game.
The Knights forced DeSales into 18 turnovers on the night.
"We're a lot better shooting team than we showed tonight," Duncan said. "Shots are gong to fall some nights and they're not going to fall some nights. We need to live with that. Normally they're going to fall a little more regularly, even on bad nights."
DeSales hosts Asotin Friday at 6 p.m. and Waitsburg-Prescott Saturday at 5 p.m.
Sunnyside Christian 41, DeSales 32
SUNNYSIDE CHRISTIAN (41) - Haak 1 1-2 3, DeGroot 0 0-0 0, Long 2 0-2 6, Den Hoed 3 1-2 7, Brower 0 0-0 0, Broersma 5 3-4 13, Van Belle 3 2-2 8, Wavrin 1 2-6 4. Totals 13 9-16 41.
DESALES (32) - Konen 1 0-0 3, Higgins 2 1-2 7, B. Lyons 0 0-0 0, Lesko 0 0-0 0, Blanc 1 0-0 3, Wujek 0 1-4 1, Leahy 0 0-0 0, Crowley 1 0-0 2, A. Lyons 2 2-2 7, Ferrel 3 1-2 9. Totals 10 5-10 32.
Sunnyside Christian 6 16 6 13 - 41
DeSales 8 6 7 11 - 32
3-point goals - S-C 2 (Long 2), DeS 7 (Konen, Higgins 2, Blanc, A. Lyons, Ferrel 2). Total fouls - S-C 12, DeS 12. Fouled out- none. Technical fouls-none. Turnovers - S-C 14, DeS 18.