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White River girls fall in Yakima 2A hoop tourney, will play at 2 p.m. Friday
The White River High girls outscored the No. 1-ranked Prosser Mustangs during the middle quarters of Thursday’s Class 2A state basketball game, but that wasn’t nearly enough to secure a victory.
Prosser bolted to a 15-0, first-period lead and White River managed only two buckets in the final seven and a half minutes of the game, resulting in a 59-44 loss for the Hornets.
The 9 p.m. game came in the first round of the three-day state finale at the Yakima Valley SunDome. White River had qualified for the state field of 16 and won two games last weekend to advance to Yakima and the Elite Eight.
Thursday night’s loss means the Hornets play a loser-out contest at 2 p.m. Friday against Lynden High, which lost 47-38 Friday to W.F. West of Chehalis. If the Hornets defeat Lynden, they will play the winner of Friday’s Tumwater/East Valley-Yakima matchup at 9:30 Saturday morning; the winner of that one will claim fourth-place honors and the loser will be sixth.
Thursday’s game was a nightmare from the beginning, as Prosser used the first four minutes to put 15 points on the board while the Hornets were blanked. When they snapped out of their offensive fog, it was Brooke Paulson leading the way; the senior sharpshooter buried three 3-pointers in a little more than two minutes.
The Mustangs continued their roll, however, as managed a 24-9 lead by the end of the first period.
The second quarter was the best of the night for White River. The Hornets went on a 12-3 run that sliced Prosser’s lead to six points, with Paulson adding seven more points during the quarter. Prosser regaining its momentum to keep its lead, but Hornet reserve Kelly O’Brien nailed a late 3-pointer to send the teams into halftime with White River trailing by a manageable 36-28.
The Hornets run of success ended with intermission and the Mustangs outscored White River in both the third and fourth quarters.
The Hornets still had live when Rani Wiegand scored twice in the opening 45 seconds of the fourth quarter, cutting Prosser’s lead to 10 points. But those were the last hoops the Hornets would score, as White River managed just three free throws the rest of the way.
The final statistics told the story of the game. The Hornets shot poorly, connecting on just five of 31 shots from 2-point range, or 16 percent. They were better on 3-pointers, making six of 20. The Mustangs buried 20 or 44 shots from inside the arc and were 21 of 53 overall.
Paulson was White River’s leading scorer, adding one point in the second half to finish with 17. Wiegand managed eight points in the second half and finished with 10. Usually dependable Sabra Sproul, who averaged in double digits during the regular season, connected on just one of 15 shots and wound up with four points.
Compounding the problem, Prosser outrebounded White River 55-39.