Waitsburg-Prescott girls go down after dry spell

Waitsburg-Prescott takes a 44-42 lead with three minutes to go but runs dry as Riverside Christian goes on an 8-0 run to end the game.


WALLA WALLA - Waitsburg-Prescott's girls could not have picked a worse time to experience a scoring drought.

W-P went scoreless in the final three minutes of its Hardwood Classic regional basketball game Saturday night in the Wa-Hi gym and Riverside Christian took advantage by scoring the final eight points of the contest to pull out a 50-44, loser-out victory.

The Crusaders take a 20-6 record to the Class 2B state tournament which begins Thursday in the Spokane Arena. Pairings for the eight-team tourney will be known today.

"We didn't play our best game, but we get to play next week," said Riverside Christian coach Scott Cleveringa, who suited up for Walla Walla Community College in the mid 1980s. "We played with heart and hung in there."

Waitsburg-Prescott ended its season with a mark of 19-5.

Riverside Christian spotted W-P an early 4-0 lead before using scoring runs of 6-0, 8-0, and 7-0 to fashion a 21-8 lead after one quarter. Six-foot-1 post Kendra Staymates led the Crusaders' charge with eight points.

"We didn't have good help defense on their posts," W-P coach Jerry Baker said. "We could have died there, but we didn't."

W-P allowed a Jessi Carpenter basket from the left baseline at the 6:56 mark of the second quarter that made it 23-8.

But Waitsburg-Prescott got itself back in contention with a 10-0 surge over the next two minutes and change. Dionna Baker scored seven points in that stretch that pulled W-P within five, 23-18, with 4:34 left in the first half.

The Crusaders stemmed the tide by tallying the next six points and would eventually go to halftime with a 31-23 lead.

Waitsburg-Prescott cut the deficit to six points on three occasions in the third quarter, but squandered numerous opportunities to draw closer. It did not tally a point in the final 3:01 of the frame.

Riverside Christian entered the fourth quarter up by 10, 40-30.

"We didn't capitalize when we needed to," coach Baker said.

After yielding the first point of period four, W-P went on a 14-2 run to claim a two-point edge, 44-42. Baker, who scored six points during the blitz, drove to the basket for a layin with 4:55 remaining to tie the game at 42.

A coast-to-coast drive and layup by Kristin Potter with three minutes left made it 44-42.

Taylor Doepker added four points to the Waitsburg-Prescott blitz on a pair of putbacks.

"I was proud as heck of the way (we) came back," coach Baker said. "Our speed was starting to show."

Staymates sank a free throw with 2:48 left to make a one-point game, 44-43, and Tori Carpenter converted a layin with 2:28 to go to put the Crusaders up for good.

Riverside Christian clinched the triumph with five free throws in the final 1:12 of play.

"We had our chances," coach Baker said. "We had ‘em on the ropes. We had the momentum, but couldn't hang on to the ball (19 turnovers for the game)."

"Keep battling. Keep working. That's what we told the girls," Cleveringa said.

Dionna Baker registered game-highs of 20 points and 16 rebounds. Staymates and Carpenter led the Crusaders with 16 points apiece. Staymates brought in a team-high 11 rebounds.

Saturday's game was the last for W-P seniors Baker, Potter, Doepker, Hailey Goenen, Kayla Huxoll, and Ronnie Hulce.

"It's a great group of girls," Baker said of his 2011-12 squad. "It was a lot of fun. It was a satisfying season."

Riverside Christian 50, Waitsburg-Prescott 44

RIVERSIDE CHRISTIAN (50) - St. Hilaire 0-0 0-0 0, Lenz 2-3 0-0 4, Roberts 1-5 0-0 3, Lenderman 0-0 0-0 0, L. Carpenter 1-7 2-8 4, T. Carpenter 5-10 6-8 16, J. Carpenter 2-4 1-3 5, Byrne 1-5 0-0 2, Staymates 6-17 4-11 16. Totals 18-51 13-30 50.

WAITSBURG-PRESCOTT (44) - Potter 2-8 0-1 4, Hofer 0-4 0-0 0, Brannock 0-2 0-0 0, Goenen 0-1 0-0 0, Huxoll 0-0 1-2 1, Harris 3-18 0-0 7, Hulce 4-11 0-0 8, Doepker 2-3 0-0 4, Baker 8-20 4-9 20, Helms 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 19-68 5-12 44.

Riverside Christian 21 10 9 10 - 50

Waitsburg-Prescott 8 15 7 14 - 44

3-point goals - RC 1-6 (Roberts 1-4, Carpenter 0-2), W-P 1-13 (Potter 0-1, Hofer 0-1, Brannock 0-1, Harris 1-8, Doepker 0-1, Helms 0-1). Total fouls - RC 12, W-P 21. Fouled out - W-P (Potter). Technical fouls - none. Rebounds - RC 49 (Staymates 11), W-P 57 (Baker 16). Turnovers-RC 14, W-P 19. Assists- RC 12 (Carpenter 9), W-P 8 (Hulce 3).


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