Irish girls carry SE2B banner at Districts

Walla Walla Valley Academy's Cameron Fitzgerald (4) hangs on to the ball as Northwest Christian's Matt Kershinar (24) reaches in attempting to steal it away during the first-half of their district playoff game Saturday evening in Waitsburg.

Walla Walla Valley Academy's Cameron Fitzgerald (4) hangs on to the ball as Northwest Christian's Matt Kershinar (24) reaches in attempting to steal it away during the first-half of their district playoff game Saturday evening in Waitsburg. Photo by Matthew Zimmerman Banderas.


WAITSBURG — District 7 lived up to its billing here and in Dayton Saturday in first-round action of the District 7/9 District basketball tournament.

The DeSales girls, with a win over Lind-Ritzville-Sprague was the lone District 9 team to remain in the winner’s bracket. The Dayton girls dropped a decision to Colfax. In other girls first round action, Northwest Christian defeated Asotin, and Reardan downed St. George’s.

In boys action, Walla Walla Valley Academy lost to Northwest Christian and DeSales was upended by Colfax. L-R-S defeated Asotin and St. Georges defeated Reardan.

The Dayton girls face off against St. George’s Friday at 3 p.m. at Walla Walla Community College’s Dietrich Dome in a loser-out game and Asotin will face L-R-S at 4:30 p.m. In semifinal girls action at WWCC, Colfax faces Reardan at 6 p.m., and NWC battles DeSales at 7:30 p.m.

Whitman College hosts the boys action on Friday.

In loser out battles, Asotin faces Reardan at 3 p.m. followed by WWVA and DeSales at 4:30 p.m. In boys semifinal action, L-R-S faces St. George’s at 6 p.m. and Colfax and NWC square off at 7:30 p.m.


Both teams started about as bad offensively as two team could start.

The Irish got five points from Molli Lesko and the Broncos scored the last three points of the quarter to lead 8-5 after one.

Behind 3-pointers from Ashlyn Lyons and a trey from Teresa Acock, who came off the Irish bench, DeSales outscored L-R-S 10-2 over the second quarter and took a 15-10 lead to intermission.

The Irish played without regular Abby Crowley, who was lost for the playoffs with a late-season leg injury, and never found an offensive rhythm over the first half. DeSales hit 5-of-21 shots from the field, including a 2-of-15 from behind the arc.

But the Broncos were worse.

L-R-S, to go along with a two-point quarter, went 0-of-15 from behind the arc.

“That was a pretty ugly offensive display,” Irish coach Tim Duncan said of the first half. “Sometimes, it turns out that way in the first playoff game.

“Obviously, we are still in the process of making adjustments without Abby. That’s a struggle.”

The Irish got a little rhythm going in the third.

Emily Baumgart hit two buckets, and Acock hit another trey to spark DeSales to a 12-point quarter.

The Broncos never found a spark as they scored only one point in the third and the Irish led 27-11 going to the fourth.

“We did a good job in the third quarter,” Duncan said. “We started seeing things in the full court and in the half court that we weren’t seeing in the first half.”

The Broncos scored one field goal in the second and that came on a bucket by Mallory Kessler with 2:05 left in the game.

Lesko, who led all scorers with 11, hit all four of her fourth-quarter free throws and went coast-to coast with a steal to score six in the quarter and offset the Broncos 8-of-10 shooting from the free-throw line over the last eight minutes.

DeSales moves on in the winner’s bracket with the 38-21 win.


Colfax opened on a 14-4 run and Dayton spent the rest of the game trying to catch up.

The Bulldogs of Colfax kept firing in the second quarter as they hit 7-of-12 from the field to outscore Dayton 15-7 and, behind Nicole Sheer’s 11 points, Colfax took what proved to be an insurmountable 33-14 halftime lead.

“We didn’t play awfully bad,” Dayton coach Clayton Strong said. “We attacked the rim and had them in foul trouble. Our biggest problem was that we missed a boat load of free throws (7-of-17 in the first half, 10-of-25 for the game). We missed enough to win the game with those.”

The Bulldogs of Dayton responded in the second 16 minutes.

Behind McKayla Bickelhaupt’s seven third-quarter points, Dayton stayed even as both teams scored 11, but Colfax took a 44-25 lead to the fourth.

Behind a Mailia Frame basket, a free throw from Lexie Ramirez ,one from Bickelhaupt, and a Bickelhaupt bucket off a Ramirez feed, Dayton crept within 44-31 with 2:58 left.

“We didn’t back down,” Strong said. “They made a (first-half) run and we responded. But to their (Colfax) credit, they are a quality program and they are very fundamentally sound.”

A driving lay-in from Colfax’s Bailey Macklert ran the Colfax lead to 46-31, and despite a late Samantha Harting trey, Dayton got no closer than the final 50-36.

“We got our feet wet (in tourney play),” Strong said. “The rebounding early cost us. We went toe to toe with them. That game wasn’t decided until the last minute and a half.

“Our rebounding in the second half was probably the best we’ve rebounded against a team like that all year. We’ve got a chance to regroup.”

Colfax’ Amelia Bruya led all scorers with 18. Bickelhaupt led Dayton with 16 and Frame chipped in 12.


The reigning 2B state champions looked ready to defend their title as Colfax hit eight of their first 11 shots from the field, including 3-of-4 treys, and exploded to a 22-6 lead after one.

DeSales withstood the Bulldog barrage to score 17 behind Adam Eskil’s two 3s in the second quarter. But Brandon Gfeller pumped home nine to finish the half with 15 of his game-high 24, and the Bulldogs increased the lead to 40-23 at intermission.

The Bulldogs controlled the backboards as the Irish only managed two offensive rebounds in the first half.

“They are very fundamentally sound,” Irish coach Allyn Griffin said. “They do everything about as sound as you can do it.”

Gfellar went off for nine in the third as Colfax increased the lead to 59-32 after three.

Gfellar finished with 24 and got help from Brady Ellis who finished with 20. Eskil and Luke Fazzari led the Irish with eight each.

“We are going to learn from this,” Griffin said. “That’s a very good team. There are way more positives than negatives about this. You don’t like to see the score like that, but we didn’t do things poorly.

“I’m not dissatisfied with where we played these guys this afternoon,” Griffin said. “We got bruised up and banged up, but we’ll go right back to work and come out fighting again.”


Austin Friedly hit nine consecutive shots from the floor to score 18 points and lead the Crusaders to victory over the Knights.

The Knights simply could not overcome the Crusaders’ fire power on this night.

NWC scored 60 points over the first three periods to enjoy a 60-36 lead after three.

“They (NWC) are really aggressive,” WWVA coach Scott Wagner said. “They put the pressure on if you are not ready. And we weren’t quite ready tonight.

“They pressured us hard and we didn’t handle it very well,” Wagner continued. “We didn’t shoot very well. That is the whole story right there.”

Dustin Rose and Alex Wagner buried treys in the third for the Knights, but on this night, NWC responded with 10 points from Friedly, a trey from Kiourkas, who finished with 15, and a 3 from Matt Kershinar, who finished with 12, to outscore WWVA 20-13 over the third, and put this one away.

Matt Cosaert led the Knights with nine points, and Matt Hanson finished with eight.

“It’s a double elimination tournament,” coach Wagner said. “We can still get to where we want to be. The (WWVA) kids played hard, we just didn’t execute. We did a lot of things defensively that we wanted to do. We just gave up a lot of offensive rebounds and they got a lot of easy second points. We’re going to work on that, practice hard, get healthy (as the flu bug hit the Knights this week), and we’ll be ready for next weekend.”


L-R-S (21) — Lamping 1 0-0 2, York 0 0-0 0,Bennett 1 4-8 6,Killian 1 3-4 5, Pichette 0 2-2 2, Kessler 2 2-2 6, Oestreich 0 0-2 0, Nelson 0 0-0 0, Wahl 0 0-0 0. Totals 5 11-18 21.

DeSales (38) — Baumgart 3 0-1 6, B. Lyons 0 0-0 0, Conley 0 0-0 0, Lesko 3 5-8 11, As. Lyons 0 1-2 1, Wujek 2 2-6 6, Leahy 1 1-2 3, As. Lyons 2 0-0 5, Acock 2 0-0 6. Totals 13 9-19 38.

L-R-S 8 2 1 10 — 21

DeSales 5 10 12 11 — 38


Colfax (50) — Goodwin 2 1-2 5, Macklert 1 1-2 3, Sheer 5 0-0 11, Larsen 1 0-0 2, Robinson 2 0-1 4, Huber 2 3-5 5, Schmidt 1 0-0 2, Bruya 7 0-0 18. Totals 20 5-10 50.

Dayton (36) — Tate 0 1-2 1,Ramirez 0 3-6 3, Andrews 0 0-1 0, Bickelhaupt 6 3-8 16, Phillips 0 0-2 0, Harting 1 1-3 4, Frame 5 2-3 12. Totals 12 10-25 36.


DeSales (39) — Roach 1 0-0 2,Haen 3 0-0 7, Fazzari 3 2-2 8, Eskil 3 0-5 8,Richman 2 2-2 6, Cortez 0 0-0 0,Peno 1 0-0 2,LeConte 1 1-2 3, Galloway 0 1-2 1, Richard 1 0-0 2. Totals 15 6-13 39.

Colfax (69) — B. Gfeller 10 0-0 24, Ellis 7 2-2 20, Kramlich 2 1-1 5,Webber 1 0-0 3,K.Gfeller 4 0-2 8,Becker 0 0-0 0, Brown 1 0-0 2, Simonson 1 2-2 4,Burke 1 1-2 3. Totals 25 6-9 69.

DeSales 6 17 9 7 — 39

Colfax 22 18 19 10 — 69


NWC (73) — Morris 1 0-0 2, Friedly 9 0-0 18, Kiourkas 4 4-4 15, Kershinar 5 1-1 12, Hanson 0 1-2 1,Sander 3 0-0 6, Stephens 6 0-0 12, Hartis 0 1-2 1,Olds 2 2-4 6. Totals 30 9-12 73.

WWVA (46) — Stewart 1 0-0 3, Cosaert 4 0-0 9,Evans 1 1-2 3, Fitzgerald 2 2-3 6, Hutton 1 0-0 2,Rose 2 2-2 7, Shutte 1 0-0 2, Awai 0 0-0 0, Hanson 4 0-0 8, Wagner 2 0-0 6. Totals 18 5-7 46.

NWC 18 22 20 13 — 73

WWVA 9 11 13 13 — 46


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