The University and Shadle Park girls had plenty of skin in the game Saturday night.
They even left some on the court, where the host Titans finally came away with a 62-52 win and a spot in the regional round of the 3A tournament.
Scrapping for every loose ball with the intensity of a loser-out game, the Titans and Highlanders also racked up 32 fouls before U-Hi racked up its third straight trip to state.
“I think both teams were tired, and weren’t used to playing games on back-to-back nights,” U-Hi coach Mark Stinson said.
But to their benefit, the second-seeded Titans were coming off a high-pressure game the night before in a 52-42 subregional loss to Kamiakin; meanwhile Shadle was coming off a long road trip in a losing effort at Sunnyside.
The Titans struggled at times against the Shadle press, but the payoff came at the foul line: 21 Highlander fouls put them at the line 30 times, and the Titans made 21 of them. Coincidentally, that’s exactly what Kamiakin did to the Titans a night earlier to set up Saturday’s showdown with Shadle Park.
“That was a key, and I think Shadle’s pressure forced some turnovers, but we made enough plays to get to the line and make some free throws,” said Stinson, who will learn today where his 9-14 team will open state tournament play next week.
Titans junior guard Ashley Woods had eight of her game-high 20 points at the line, and senior wing Shelby Rotchford added eight of her 11 from the line.
“We’re a deep team, and different people are stepping up at different times,” Stinson said. “You never know where it’s going to come from, and that’s the beauty of sports.”
Getting 19 points from Shyla Carr and 13 from Winter Hayes, the Highlanders stayed close throughout the game. Leading 15-14 after the first quarter, the Titans got a big 3-pointer at the end of the first half from Morgan Hawley to go ahead 32-24.
Shadle, which finished 8-15, quickly cut the deficit to three points early in the third quarter, but Woods hit two free throws late in the period to give U-Hi its biggest lead of the game to that point, 41-31.
Shadle Park got within six with five minutes left, but Hawley put the game away with her third 3-pointer of the game, putting the Titans up 59-47 with less than two minutes to play.
Chiawana 83, Central Valley 57: Delaney Hodgins scored 28 points and Braydey Hodgins added 18 as the Riverhawks dumped the Bears (17-7) in Pasco. Madison Hovren made 15 of 21 free throws and scored 21 points for CV. Chiawana will advance to the regional round as a No. 2 seed, the Bears were eliminated.