Shadle Park took a tip from University and parlayed it into a 41-35 victory and the District 8 3A girls basketball championship Thursday evening at U-Hi.
As a result, the Highlanders stay home against the CBBN’s No. 3 team for regional play and the Titans must travel to the league’s No. 3 as teams begin their road to the 3A state tournament. Winners advance against each other.
Shadle coach Chad Dezellem said afterward that he believes his team and the Titans are two of the best 3A teams in state.
“It’s unfortunate only one can go (to Tacoma),” he said.
With 2 minutes left in the first half and the game tied, Titans sophomore Kylie Collins deflected a hard pass. The ball went straight up in the air and dropped into the Highlanders’ basket.
It may not have directly affected the outcome, but was indicative of what kind of night it would be for U-Hi.
The game proved to be one of relentless defenses resulting in a tough shooting night. No more than four points separated either team through three quarters.
“It was a low-scoring game that was a product of two good defensive teams,” Dezellem said. “They were working hard to take Aleisha (Hathaway) away and in basketball you have to take what it gives you.”
That was the case for Shadle Park. U-Hi (14-7) had recovered from its fluke bit of misfortune to take a 31-27 lead into the fourth quarter before the Highlanders (15-7 and winners of 12 of their last 15 games) ran off the first 11 points of the final period for a 38-31 lead that would prove to be the largest of the night.
During the run Paige Reidt made back-to-back baskets, one a 3-pointer. Hathaway capped it with a three-point play.
The Titans got as close as 38-35 with 2 minutes, 27 seconds remaining on a pair of Kaleigh Valley baskets. But a clutch rebound by Shadle’s 5-foot-11 sophomore Peighton DeVon following a missed U-Hi layin was her most important of seven second half boards. She then scored at the other end with 1:10 remaining to effectively settle the game.
“It’s hard to keep up with all our seniors but I was determined,” she said. “I wanted the seniors to go to state and had to do my part.”
University’s defense did a good job of holding Hathaway to nine points.
“I’ve been shooting the three well and I think they were not wanting me to get my shot up,” she said. “Peighton really stepped up for us when we needed it.”
So did Kaycee Hert who scored a team 11 points, including a 3-pointer to start the fourth-quarter comeback.
Valley, a Titan junior, had a monster game with 22 points and a dozen rebounds, but it wasn’t quite enough.
“I wouldn’t be surprised if we played them again,” Hathaway said.