Pacific is again one step away from a tournament championship.
After a second-place finish over the holiday break at the Rockwood Summit Tournament, the Lady Indians (9-7) have their eyes on the championship at the Fifth Annual Washington Tournament. The team is now just one step away after defeating Holt (6-10) Wednesday, 39-33, in the tournament’s semifinals.
Friday night’s championship game will be contested between the tournament’s top two seeds as the No. 2 seed, Pacific, takes on top-ranked Lutheran South. The game is a rematch of the championship of last season’s Lutheran South Tournament, where Pacific topped the Lady Lancers in overtime.
“It’s good to be in the championship game again,” Pacific Head Coach Bill Thoele said. “That’s two tournaments in a row (this season) and we don’t want to be bridesmaids. We want to win this one. It’ll be tough though. Lutheran South is a scrappy little team and they get after it.”
Pacific held Holt to just three points in the first quarter, which ended with Pacific leading 10-3 at the end of the first eight minutes after Holt did not complete a single field goal in the period.
Holt battled back to within three points with a 17-14 score at the intermission. Holt was never able to fully catch up to Thoele’s squad as Pacific improved the lead to 31-22 at the end of the third quarter.
Pacific brought a balanced offensive attack with eight different players contributing to the scoring.
“Half of their points were from the line in the first half,” Thoele said. “Defensively, we’re getting better and better. We had 13 shots within four feet of the basket and I think we made seven, so we missed a lot of high percentage shots (in the first half). We made those in the second half and that really helped us get a bit of a cushion.”
Delia Toney notched a team high of eight points, adding six rebounds.
Grace Burrows and Cori O’Neill recorded seven points each. O’Neill grabbed six rebounds with one assist and one block.
Burrows made two steals.
Maddie King scored six points with two assists and one rebound.
Annie Mueller netted five points with two rebounds and a steal.
Madison Brocato, Morgann Harrison and Cassidy Murray each contributed two points.
Brocato pulled down five rebounds with two assists.
Harrison rebounded five with one steal.
Murray grabbed two rebounds.
“We’re pretty balanced and when we’re all clicking, we’re not a bad team,” Thoele said. “We’ve won seven out of (our last) nine now.”
Jaliyah Green was the leading scorer for Holt with 11 points.
Other contributors for Holt included Gia Bargaineer (eight points), Abigail Tranor (six), Claudia Adam (three), Mya Robinson (three) and Kiersten Dooley (two).
The final day at the Washington Tournament, Friday, starts with the seventh-place game at 4 p.m. and culminates with the championship game at 8:30.