Panthers run past Irish girls, 42-28

Asotin hands top-seed DeSales a District 9 2B loss Tuesday night.

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DeSales' Claire Konen (right) and Asotin's Sarah Nicholas battle for the ball as the Panthers tamed the Irish Tuesday night.

WALLA WALLA - In the rubber match between regular-season Southeast 2B champion DeSales and second-place Asotin, it was the Panthers who went on an 8-0 run to open the second half here Tuesday in the first round of the girls district tournament.

The Irish had a terrible shooting night and never recovered from that 8-0 run, as the Panthers went on to post a 42-28 win and claim the No. 1 seed into Saturday's elimination round.

The Irish meet Waitsburg-Prescott, a 65-31 winner over Walla Walla Valley Academy on Tuesday, at 2 p.m. Saturday at Whitman College in a winner-to-regional, loser-out game.

DeSales never got the lid off the basket Tuesday night. The Irish opened with a 2-of-13 effort from the floor in the first period, and came out after intermission and went 1-of-15 in the third quarter.

"We had a lot of shots and a lot of shots close to the basket," Irish coach Tim Duncan said. "Some of them went halfway down and rolled right back out. That's the game of basketball."

DeSales got baskets from Annie Higgins and Allison Wujek in the first period, but the Irish defense held Asotin, which split two regular-season games with the Irish (winning at Asotin and losing at DeSales) to five points as the Panthers led 5-4 after one period.

The Panthers got eight points and three steals from JaLisa Jose to outscore the Irish, 20-10, and go to intermission up 25-14.

"We weren't prepared," Duncan said. "That's on us as a team. I will take my responsibility for it and I guarantee the girls will take their responsibility for it."

Abby Crowley hit a free throw for DeSales with 3:54 left in the third to end an 8-0 Panther run. Jose scored four of her game-high 12 points during the run, and Asotin had command with a 33-15 lead following Crowley's free throw.

"I didn't think we played too bad of defense early in the game," Duncan said. "Then they got a couple of shots to drop that they don't normally make and we kind of hung our heads a little bit. We committed a couple of turnovers early in the third quarter, and normally we come out strong defensively in the third quarter, and we just didn't."

DeSales got a 3 from Claire Konen, the Irish's only trey of the game, with 6:14 left to cut the Panther lead to 37-22.

Asotin got just enough offense, and the Irish couldn't knock down enough shots to get any closer until Konen's deuce in the final seconds ran the final to 42-28.

Higgins, Wujek and Crowley led the Irish with six points each.

The Irish own two regular-season wins over Waitsburg-Prescott, as the two meet for the third time Saturday with their seasons on the line.

"We're in the same boat as if we would've won, we just play a different opponent," Duncan said. "We can still come back and win the district title. We'll be ready to go on Saturday."

Asotin 42, DeSales 28

ASOTIN (42) - Fyant 3-4 1-2 7, Proctor 0-3 0-0 0, Nicholas 0-2 0-0 0, Ausman 1-4 0-0 3, Nelson 1-2 2-2 4, Shriver 2-7 0-0 5, Whittaker 3-7 3-4 9, Jose 5-12 2-3 12, Weakland 0-2 0-0 0, Swaringen 1-2 0-0 2, Martin 0-0 0-0 0, Trizl 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 16-45 8-11 42.

DESALES (28) - Konen 2-4 0-0 5, Higgins 3-14 0-0 6, B. Lyons 0-1 0-0 0, Conley 0-0 0-0 0, Lesko 0-1 0-0 0, Blanc 0-1 0-0 0, Wujek 3-8 0-2 6, A. Lyons 1-9 0-0 2, Ferrel 1-8 0-2 2, Leahy 0-1 1-2 1, Crowley 2-6 2-4 6. Totals 12-53 3-10 28.

Asotin 5 20 10 7 - 42

DeSales 4 10 3 11 - 28

3-point goals - Aso 2-11(Proctor 0-1, Nicholas 0-1, Ausman 1-1, Nelson 0-1, Shriver 1-4, Whittaker 0-3), DeS 1-19 (Konen 1-2, Higgins 0-6, B. Lyons 0-1, Lesko 0-1, Blanc 0-1, A. Lyons 0-4, Ferrel 0-4). Total fouls - Aso 14, DeS 12. Fouled out - none. Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - Aso 42 (Jose 10), DeS 34 (Higgins 6). Turnovers - Aso 17, DeS 15. Assists - Aso 9 (Nelson 3), DeS 7 (A. Lyons 3).

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