Two teams with similar makeups made playing the game difficult Tuesday. But Pasco ultimately beat Shadle Park at its own game for a 35-31 4A East Regional girls basketball victory at Spokane Falls CC putting the Highlanders on the ropes.
The loss by the Greater Spokane League runner-up left Lewis and Clark as the lone unbeaten standard bearer heading into regional weekend on Friday and Saturday in Kennewick.
The Tigers defeated Richland 67-48 and will play Walla Walla at 4 p.m. Friday in the Toyota Center. The Blue Devils defeated Mead 56-45 and Central Valley lost 55-40 to Moses Lake in other Tuesday night games.
Shadle (18-5) prided itself season long on defense, but played little, the low score notwithstanding.
Neither team shot well, and the Highlanders could not find a way to involve WSU-bound Lexie Pettersen in the offense. As a result the Highlanders found themselves in the same position as Pasco last year, a loser at home.
The shorter Bulldogs (19-4), 5-foot-4 Bianca Arellano in particular who led all rebounders with nine, controlled the boards. Their quickness made things uncomfortable for Shadle’s ball handlers and flustered a team that could never find any offensive continuity.
“Defense saved our lives tonight,” said coach Steve Davis, “Lately our offense has disappeared, but we play really good defense and got away with a win. We wanted to put a lot of pressure on their guards, or when they’ve got a player like Lexie if they got comfortable she would eat us up alive.”
The strategy worked.
Back-to-back 3-pointers by Amanda Carlton and Bianca Pope put Shadle ahead 10-6 in the final minute of the first quarter. The lead went to 15-8 with 6 minutes, 15 seconds to play until intermission, but the Highlanders didn’t score again before intermission. Two back-door baskets by freshman sub Hayley Hodgins tied the game.
Shadle went back in front 25-19 in the third quarter, but Hodgins scored twice more before the end for a 27-25 lead.
All the home team had in the fourth quarter was Pope, who scored all six of its points. But Pasco broke a tie inside 5 minutes and never trailed.
Davis said that Arellano was an unsung hero, and the young players made clutch shots down the stretch, but added Pasco must find its offense if it is to continue winning.
Shadle shot just 27 percent for the game, Pasco 33 percent and neither had a double figures scorer.
The Highlanders play CV in a 4 p.m. Friday loser-out game. Pasco faces Moses Lake at 6.
Lewis and Clark 67, Richland 48: The defending state-champion Tigers (23-0) doubled the score in the first quarter on the visiting Bombers (11-13), setting the tone for the game. Their guards held the upper hand, led by Brittany Kennedy. Oregon State-bound Kennedy scored 20 points, had seven assists and pulled down nine rebounds. Daisy Burke scored 14 points and Kiki January 10. Among them they were 14 for 16 from the free-throw line. Also in double figures was post Sara Kliewer, who pulled down nine rebounds as well.
Walla Walla 56, Mead 45: The Panthers (18-6) took a 17-9 first-quarter lead at the Blue Devils (19-5), but couldn’t maintain it. Tifa Puletasi scored a game-high 18 points, making 7 of 10 shots from the field and had nine rebounds, while Jazmine Redmon added 15 points with eight rebounds. But only two other players scored and a 22-6 third-quarter spurt put the game away. Mead plays Richland at 5:30.
Moses Lake 55, Central Valley 40: The Bears (12-12) were even with the tall Chiefs (19-5) after three quarters, but the inside play of 6-5 Carly Noyes proved too much in the end. She finished with 28 points, more than the total of CV scoring leaders Brittany Catron (14 points) and Justine Bowman (10) combined.
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