WALLA WALLA — DeSales’ full-court pressure was relentless Friday night in a Southeast 2B girls basketball game against Waitsburg-Prescott.
And it proved to be the difference, as the Irish pickpocketed W-P 15 times and forced 26 turnovers in a dominating 46-28 victory.
“Their defense, they’re just a lot more aggressive than we are,” W-P coach Jerry Baker said. “We didn’t do a very good job screening and getting the ball open.”
With the win the Irish improve to 8-1 in league play (13-4 overall) and clinch the league’s first seed into the District 7/9 tournament.
The Irish were balanced on offense, with seven players scoring and only one, Allison Wujek, breaking double digits.
Wujek, a 6-foot post, scored 12 to lead all scorers and Abby Crowley added six points in the low block, but it was the Irish perimeter players who sparked the offense, connecting on seven 3-pointers. Teresa Acock hit three treys, while Ashlyn Lyons and Emily Baumgart each contributed two.
“Pick your poison,” Baker said. “You trap inside and they kick it out and hit the 3s. You pray they don’t hit the 3s, but then you guard the 3s and we can’t stop Allison (Wujek) and Abby (Crowley) inside. So pick your poison.”
On the other side of the court, W-P (4-5 SE2B, 7-12) struggled to get scoring opportunities against DeSales’ press, making just six field goals in the loss.
“Our girls did a good job,” DeSales coach Tim Duncan said. “We were working pretty hard in (full-court pressure). We didn’t execute well otherwise, but in that I thought we worked pretty hard and played with a high energy level.”
W-P actually got most of its offense from the free-throw line, where it hit 15-of-27 attempts.
Chelsey Brannock led W-P with nine points on three field goals and a 3-of-9 mark at the line. Stacia Deal hit the team’s only 3-pointer and went 4-for-6 at the line for seven points.
Neither team was especially sharp to begin the match, however, as a Baumgart 3 from the far corner with 3:28 left in the first was the first field goal of the night.
The 3-pointer was a dam buster, though, as Acock connected from the same spot for another deep ball to put the Irish up 8-1 less than a minute later.
Feeling it, Baumgart, a freshman guard, launched yet another 3 from the same spot that fortuitously bounced off the glass and through the net and the Irish went into the second with an 11-5 advantage.
A pair of Brannock layups and four free throws were the only offense W-P mustered in the second frame. Meanwhile, the Irish found their inside game.
“It was nice to be able to knock the 3-pointers down,” Duncan said. “We had a couple of girls (Ashlyn Lyons and Acock) that were very aggressive at the 3-point line, and those were two girls that we want to see be aggressive.”
DeSales went to the line five times in the period, converting seven attempts, and Wujek scored six points in the paint as the Irish sprinted to the break up 27-13.
DeSales’ lead expanded yet again in the third as the Irish outscored W-P 14-7 in the frame, with Acock hitting a pair of 3s to lead her team to a 41-20 advantage after three.
DeSales slowed the pace of the game in the fourth and cruised to the final margin of 46-28.
DeSales visits Asotin at 5 p.m.
DESALES 46, WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT 28
WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (28) — Hofer 0 1-2 1, Moss 0 0-0 0, Brannock 3 3-9 9, Miller 0 2-2 2, Deal 1 4-6 7, Harris 1 4-6 6, Xondaro 0 0-0 0, Fedderson 1 1-2 3. Totals 6 15-27 28.
DESALES (46) — Baumgart 2 0-0 6, James 0 0-0 0, B. Lyons 0 0-0 0, Acock 3 0-0 9, Conley 0 0-0 0, Lesko 1 0-0 2, Al. Lyons 0 0-0 0, Wujek 5 2-7 12, Leahy 0 3-4 3, Crowley 2 2-2 6, As. Lyons 2 2-2 8, Lizardi 0 0-0 0. Totals 15 9-15 46.
W-P 3 8 7 8 — 28
DeSales 11 16 14 5 — 46
3-point goals — W-P 1 (Deal), DeS 7 (Baumgart 2, Acock 3, As. Lyons 2). Total fouls — W-P 14, DeS 22. Fouled out — DeS (Lesko). Technical fouls — none. Rebounding — W-P 22 (Brannock 5), DeS 27 (Crowley 6). Turnovers — W-P 26, DeS 25. Assists — W-P 5 (Harris 3), DeS 14 (Crowley 4).