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Thu., March 12, 2009, 7:50 p.m.

Shadle girls win, semi moved to 7

They just announced Shadle park's semifinal game in the girls tournament has been moved to 7 p.m. because of a conflict for Meadowdale boys and girls.

The Highlanders are in the semifinals courtesy of a 52-39 win over Prairie. Keep reading for my unedited story that will appear in Frida's paper.


It appeared if Shadle Park was going to lose in the second round of the State 3A girls basketball tournament it was going to be a freshman that beat them.

Instead it was a freshman that jumped started the Highlanders into the semifinals.

Aleisha Hathaway scored all 10 of her points in the second half to boost Shadle Park to a 52-39 win over perennial power Prairie Thursday night in the Tacoma Dome.

“I came out slow, I was pretty disappointed in myself,” Hathaway said. “I knew we had to score. I was looking to pass but if it was there I was going to take it.”

And take it she did, scoring the last basket of the third quarter after Prairie (22-5) tied the game at 32 and the first two of the fourth quarter as the Highlanders put together a game-breaking 8-0 surge.

The Highlanders (21-6) play xxx in tonight’s first semifinal at 7, a change from the bracket because the Meadowdale girls and both were both scheduled for the early semifinal after both beat Encumclaw.

“We were so excited in the lockerroom,” Shadle senior Lindsay Niemeier said. “We had all this energy. We had so much fun. We played so well, especially defensively.”

That little surge was a game breaker because Prairie struggled to score all night – except when freshman Heather Corral shot.

She hit 5 of 6 shots, including all four of her 3-pointers, in the first half, for 14 of Prairie’s 19 points, but was limited to four shots – making one 3 – in the second half.

“She’s very aggressive,” Niemeier said. “She has a big future in front of her.”

It was Niemeier who helped slow her down once Shadle Park switched from a zone to a man defense but even before that Shadle coach Chad Dezellem wasn’t upset with his team.

“Some of those shots were pretty contested,” he said. “For the most part we did a nice job. We harass people pretty well.”

The Highlanders had a hard time breaking away because they only shot 39 percent and had 17 turnovers but they never trailed. Shadle scored the first nine, Prairie the next and then Shadle scored eight straight, but still only led 21-19 at the half. Credit Corral, whose sister Ashley (now playing at USC) led to a third-place trophy last year for the Falcons’ 10th straight top six finish, all at 4A.

After Hathaway’s six straight, Bianca Pope drove the baseline for a basket. As soon as the Falcons stopped the run, Hathaway scored again and then added a couple of free throws down the stretch as the Highlanders hit eight of nine after going one of five from the line in the first half.

“We were pretty confident,” Hathaway said. “We knew if we played defense like we can not too many people can stop us.”

Take away Corral and Prairie made 2 of 13 shots in the first half, 8 of 27 for the team, to go with their 28 turnovers.

Kendra Knutsen led the Highlanders with 14 points. Pope matched Hathaway’s 10 as well as her seven rebounds. Point guard Tori Dezellem led Shadle, which had a 32-27 edge in rebounding (13-5 on the offensive end) with eight.

“When you get over here you’re not going to win unless you play good defense and rebound,” coach Dezellem said. “On offense sometimes you have to grind.”

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