Washington wrapped up the Gateway Athletic Conference Central division championship with a girls basketball win Friday at Holt.
The Lady Jays (13-10, 6-1) pulled away in the fourth quarter to win the game, 58-49.
“Winning conference was never a goal we set for ourselves this year, but I am extremely proud of our team for accomplishing that,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “At the beginning of the year, we set one goal, and that was to improve every time we touched the floor. The girls have come to practice and to games and worked extremely hard on improving their skills. We still have one conference game left Tuesday at Ft. Zumwalt East. The girls have earned this conference championship. They deserve all the credit.”
Washington held leads of 16-11 after one quarter and 29-25 at halftime.
“We got off to a hot start with 16 first-quarter points, but Holt bounced right back and got the game within four a few times,” Fischer said. “Our girls responded well and took a small lead into the locker room at the half.”
Holt came back to trim the Lady Jays’ lead to 40-39 after three quarters.
But Washington put the game away with a solid fourth period.
“It was a battle all evening. Holt was prepared to play and made it very difficult for us,” Fischer said. “In the third quarter, Holt took a two-point lead at one point, but we managed to settle down a little on defense and we got ourselves some easy shots on the offensive end. We brought a lot of physical play into the game and it eventually ran them out of gas.”
Courtney Kedroski hit six three-pointers in the game and led the Lady Jays with 24 points, six rebounds, two assists and two steals.
“Courtney started the game off with great focus,” Fischer said. “We were up early 6-0 on two quick three-pointers by her. I believe that helped her confidence for the game as well as everyone else’s. Her two quick baskets allowed the whole team to settle into our game.”
Kirstie Leslie added 11 points, five rebounds, four assists and three steals.
Paige Carpenter finished with eight points and four assists.
Rachel Kackley pitched in with seven points and six rebounds.
Megan Bauche registered five points, four assists, three steals and two rebounds.
Kaitlin Evans had three points and four rebounds.
Helena Ballmann added four assists and two rebounds. Megan Freitag had one rebound.
Madi Peyton led Holt (9-13, 3-4) with 14 points. Melyk Taouil added 10 points.
“Kirstie, Kaitlin, Helena and Rachel had bodies on all of their forwards all night. When their guards picked the ball up on the perimeter, we were there to smother them,” Fischer said. “It was a hard-fought, physical, well-deserved road win in conference.”
Washington ends the regular season Thursday at Pacific at 6 p.m.
The third-seeded Lady Jays open the Class 5 District 10 Tournament at Rolla High School against second-seeded Rolla in the semifinals Monday at 7:30 p.m.