Irish girls down Knights, clinch SE2B

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WALLA WALLA — DeSales clinched the regular-season Southeast 2B girls basketball title here Thursday.

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DeSales’ Claire Conley (No. 11) gets tied up by Walla Walla Valley Academy’s Titi Graham (left) and Hannah Woolever (center) under the basket, but draws the foul during their Southeast 2B League game Thursday night.

The Irish, after a free throw from Walla Walla Valley Academy’s Daisy Nateras gave the Knights a 1-0 lead one minute in, scored 11 unanswered to take control at 11-1 after one quarter, and DeSales never looked back as the Irish posted a 55-21 win.

Emily Baumgart converted her first of three treys on the night to give the Irish the lead for good at 4-1 two minutes in.

Hannah Woolever connected on a Knight 3 with 5:15 left in the half for WWVA’s first field goal, but Baumgart hit two more treys in the second period and DeSales — despite 14 first-half turnovers — went to intermission up 29-8.

“We thought we could take whatever we wanted to take,” Irish coach Tim Duncan said of the first half. “We didn’t pay any attention to where they were playing. They did some things to try and take (Irish post) Allison (Wujek) away. They came from different areas to take her away. We thought we could do whatever we wanted to.”

“Early in the game, I saw some good things,” Knight coach Lloyd Redberg said. “We broke the press effectively. We never got our offense going, but we’re taking baby steps (to improve).”

Woolever and Amy Arnzen knocked down 3s for the Knights and Titi Graham hit a deuce as WWVA stayed with the Irish in the third as both teams tallied eight points.

DeSales took a 37-16 lead to the fourth and put this one away with an 8-of-12 shooting performance from the floor in the quarter to run the final to 55-22.

“We kind of resorted back to our old ways,” Redberg said of the second half. “Lob passes into the middle instead of being patient. We have the tools to break the press and give ourselves some chances. But, they are a well-coached and well-disciplined team.”

Hannah Leahy made all three of her fourth-quarter shots to lead the Irish on the 18-6 run to finish this one.

“We started to settle in and started playing better (in the second half),” Duncan said. “In the fourth, it looked like our ball movement was back to normal. The kids made the right pass.”

Woolever and Natalina McShane led the Knights with six points each, and Arnzen led the Knight rebounders with nine. WWVA finishes at 3-7 in conference and will travel to the yet-to-be-determined fourth-place finisher Wednesday in a loser-out battle.

“I wanted to use this game as something we could build on,” Redberg said. “We’re locked into fifth. It looks like it will go down to the end between three teams (to decide fourth) and to see where we’ll be going.”

Leahy led DeSales with a double-double, 13 points and 11 rebounds. Baumgart finished with 11 and Wujek chipped in 10.

The Irish improve to an SE2B-best 8-1 and face the only team to defeat them in league, Tri-Cities Prep, tonight.

“This (game with T-C Prep) doesn’t matter as far as first place,” Duncan said. “But trust me, it matters. We’ve been thinking about this one since we lost to them.”

DESALES 55, WWVA 22

WWVA (22) — Woolever 2 0-0 6, Arnzen 1 0-1 3, McShane 2 0-0 6, A. Underhill 0 0-0 0, Nateras 1 1-5 3, Evans 0 0-0 0, Graham 1 0-0 2, Miller 0 0-0 0, Klingstrand 1 0-0 2, K. Underhill 0 0-0 0. Totals 8-50 1-6 22.

DESALES (55) — Baumgart 4 0-0 11, Deal 0 1-2 1, Acock 3 0-0 8, Conley 2 0-0 4, Wujek 4 2-4 10, Leahy 5 3-4 13, Haider 0 0-0 0, Maiuri 0 0-0 0, Lyons 2 3-6 8. Totals 20-49 9-16 55.

WWVA 1 7 8 6 — 22

DeSales 11 18 8 18 — 55

3-point goals — WWVA 5 (Woolever 2, Arnzen, McShane 2), DeS 6 (Baumgart 3, Acock 2, Lyons). Total fouls — WWVA 12, DeS 13. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — WWVA 27 (Arnzen 9), DeS 44 (Leahy 11). Turnovers — WWVA 24, DeS 25. Assists — WWVA 5 (Graham 2), DeS 17 (Baumgart 5).

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