DeSales wins defensive battle for regional berth

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WALLA WALLA — DeSales’ Brigit Lyons buried a 3-ball 30 seconds into elimination-game action here at Whitman College Saturday at the District 7/9 girls basketball sub-regional, and St. Georges never took back the lead as the Irish led from horn-to-horn and posted a 32-27 win.

The night belonged to the defenses as the Irish shot 21 percent from the floor and the Dragons only scored six field goals and shot 19 percent.

With the win, DeSales qualifies for next weekend’s regional tournament.

The Irish play for the third or fourth seed Monday at 5 p.m. at Whitman.

If they win, they take the No. 3 seed to the Sunnyside Regional. If they lose, they take the No. 4 seed to the Mountlake Terrace Regional.

“Sometimes the two teams are playing not to loose,” Irish coach Tim Duncan said of the low-scoring win. “The pressure is on and you get caught up in that mode. We got in that mode, but we toughed it out.”

Emily Baumgart added a free throw and Allison Wujek scored a bucket as DeSales led 6-3 after one. Ashlyn Lyons scored two 3s in the second quarter on feeds from sister Brigit and DeSales stretched the lead to 15-8 at the half.

“It’s a family affair,” Ashlyn said of the assists from Brigit.

Brigit Lyons opened the second half with a trey, but the Dragons rattled off 10 points in the third as Brenna Russell hit a bucket to cut the Irish lead to 22-18 with :10 left. Claire Conley missed for the Irish but hustled for her own rebound and got the ball to Ashlyn Lyons, who buried a trey as the backboard lit up to end the period.

DeSales led 25-18 with eight minutes left.

“Time is running out and it’s time for a big shot,” Ashlyn Lyons said of the play. “I just let it fly.”

The fourth wasn’t pretty but it was intense as Alex Wert hit a jumper to pull the Dragons within 26-25 with 2:10 left.

“We called a couple of time outs,” Duncan said. “It was basically, someone had to make a play. We started not looking for the shot on the perimeter. We passed up a couple of open shots that told me that we were in trouble because no one wanted to make a play. The one thing I knew was that I liked our chances at the defensive end. I knew it would be tough for them to score.”

On the night, the Irish defense shut down the Dragon inside game, as 5-foot-10 Wert and 6-0 Brenna Russell were limited to a combined 13 points.

“Our plan was to double the post hard,” Ashlyn Lyons said. “In the fourth, coach told us not to leave their two big shooters (Taryn Stamper, led all scorers with 12) and (Wert).”

Ashlyn Lyons broke the Dragon press and found Wujek ahead of the pack and Wujek laid it in for a 28-25 Irish lead with 1:07 to play. Wert converted two free throws with 25 ticks left as the Dragons again got within one at 28-27.

The Dragons fouled and Ashlyn Lyons and Molli Lesko knocked down four pressure free throws to ice the 32-27 win.

“She (Ashlyn) stepped up big, and then Molli stepped up as it was still a three-point game,” Duncan said. “That’s what being an athlete is.”

Ashlyn Lyons led the Irish with 11 points and Wujek pulled down a team-high nine rebounds.

DeSales 32, St. Georges 27

ST. GEORGES (27) — Stamper 4-9 0-0 12, Hayes 0-4 0-0 0, Rankin 0-2 0-0 0, Kwasman 0-3 2-3 2, Wert 2-11 5-10 9, Moye 0-0 0-0 0, Russell 1-2 2-2 4, Tender 0-1 0-0 0. Totals 6-32 9-15 27.

DESALES (32) — Baumgart 2-7 1-6 6, B. Lyons 2-8 0-0 6, Acock 0-3 0-0 0, Conley 0-2 0-0 0, Lesko 0-1 4-6 4, All. Lyons 0-2 0-0 0, Wujek 2-8 1-2 5, Leahy 0-1 0-0 0, Ash.Lyons 3-10 2-4 11. Totals 9-42 8-18 32.

St. Georges 3 5 10 9 — 27

DeSales 6 9 10 7 — 32

3-point goals — St. G 4-11 (Stamper 4-6, Rankin 0-1, Kwasman 0-1, Wert 0-3), DeS 6-23 (Baumgart 1-3, B. Lyons 2-7, Acock 0-3, Lesko 0-1, Ash. Lyons 3-9 ). Total fouls — St. G 16, DeS 13. Fouled out — none. Technical fouls — none. Rebounds — St. G 32 (Wert 13), DeS 38 (Wujek 9). Turnovers — St. G 22, DeS 18. Assists — St. G 5 (Wert 2, Russell 2), DeS 8 (Ash. Lyons 3).

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