Washington made Pacific earn its 20th win of the girls basketball season.
Closing the regular season last Friday at Pacific High School, the Lady Indians rallied from a seven-point deficit in the third quarter to defeat Washington, 41-40.
“Washington is a good ball team. I’m happy that we were able to fight back and get the win. It shows the composure of our team,” said Pacific Head Coach Josh Spuhl. “Now we are preparing for districts. This is why we have played all year.”
The Lady Jays were shooting for their fifth straight win to end the regular season, but fell a point short.
Washington’s Paige Carpenter made a three-pointer as the final buzzer sounded to make it a one-point outcome.
“I thought it was a good game to lead us into district play,” said Washington Head Coach Adam Fischer. “Pacific is a very solid basketball team and well coached. The atmosphere and the level of play should have both teams ready for districts.”
Washington (15-11) actually began Class 5 District 10 Tournament action Monday, defeating Rolla 55-53 in a semifinal contest at Rolla High School. The Lady Jays play Waynesville in the title game Thursday at 6 p.m.
Pacific (20-5) opens the Class 4 District 9 Tournament on its home floor Friday in the semifinals against either Union or Owensville at 6 p.m.
The district title game is Saturday at 6 p.m.
Lizzy Almo led Pacific in the scoring column against Washington with 14 points to go with three rebounds and two steals.
“Lizzy had a strong game,” Spuhl said. “We had a lot of long stretches where we didn’t score. That’s a credit to Washington’s defense.”
Ellen Rogers and Meagan Wakefield both finished with seven points. Rogers added six rebounds. Wakefield had three steals.
Ashley Hill collected five points, six rebounds and five assists.
Kya Hill had five points and three rebounds.
Abby Spuhl added three points and four rebounds.
“Kya was in foul trouble. It really hurt us for her to be on the bench so much,” Spuhl said. “Ellen and Meagan had good games.”
Pacific honored its two seniors, Almo and Spuhl.
“It’s always a tough win on senior night, not to mention we had two snow days,” Spuhl said.
Courtney Kedroski led the way for Washington with 11 points, four rebounds and two assists.
Kirstie Leslie added 10 points, 11 rebounds, two assists and two steals.
Megan Bauche finished with eight points, seven rebounds and two assists.
Carpenter had five points and two assists.
Kaitlin Evans, Helena Ballmann and Megan Freitag each scored two points. Evans added four rebounds. Ballmann grabbed three rebounds.
Rachel Kackley blocked two shots.
“It was a very physical game. It felt like a playoff game from the start,” Fischer said. “Our girls played their hearts out and left it all on the floor.”
Washington trailed 12-9 after one quarter, but came back to grab an 18-17 lead on a basket by Freitag with 1:50 remaining in the second quarter.
Leslie and Bauche later added buckets to help the Lady Jays outscore Pacific 13-6 in the second quarter and take a 22-18 advantage into halftime.
Washington built its lead to 25-18 three minutes into the third quarter.
Trailing by seven points and with Kya Hill and Almo with four fouls apiece, things didn’t looked great for Pacific.
But Rogers and Spuhl both nailed three-pointers to pull the Lady Indians to within 25-24 with 46 seconds left in the third quarter.
Ballmann and Almo exchanged baskets in the final 35 seconds as Washington led 27-26 heading into the fourth quarter.
Pacific grabbed a 30-29 lead with 6:10 left in the fourth quarter and never trailed again.
A three-pointer by Kedroski pulled the Lady Jays to within 37-35 with 36 seconds left to play.
Wakefield made four free throws in the final 31 seconds to seal Pacific’s victory.
“Our defense was great all game,” Spuhl said. “It carried us most of the night.”