YAKIMA, Wash. — One quarter of basketball turned into a perfect storm for La Salle’s girls on Saturday.
And, unfortunately, it wasn’t the good kind.
Already beset with a variety of game-changing issues, the Lightning endured a scoreless third quarter and succumbed to Freeman 49-40 in the placing final for third and fifth place in the Class 1A state tournament in the SunDome.
This was quite a reversal from La Salle’s 55-32 regional win over Freeman a week ago, but circumstances did the Lightning no favors — a tightly called game, a quick turnaround from a draining semifinal loss and a star player who was substantially under the weather.
Nursing a 25-22 lead at halftime, La Salle’s challenges caught up in a big way as the team went 0 for 9 in the third quarter while committing seven turnovers. Freeman used its 13-0 run in the pivotal period to build a 35-25 lead that held up to the finish.
It may have been years since La Salle’s girls experienced a quarter like this, and coach Alyssa Goins gave all the credit to Freeman.
“They had a really nice game plan, running a half-court trap that really took us out of the rhythm of what we wanted to do,” she said. “They had a nice plan and executed it, and we struggled with it.”
The Lightning made a few runs at the deficit in the fourth quarter, cutting it to six at 38-32, 40-34 and 42-36 during the final four minutes. But the Scotties made 7 of 8 free throws in the last 1:28 to protect their lead.
Freeman got to the foul line 33 times and outscored La Salle there 20-10. In the first half, when the Lightning offense hit three 3-pointers and was much more efficient, the Scotties stayed close by getting in the double bonus and scoring 12 of their 22 points on free throws before the break.
“These kids are warriors, they played so hard and I’m so proud of them for how they leave it all on the court,” Goins said. “I think they expended so much energy last night (in a 46-37 loss to Cashmere), and it’s hard to come back the next day and find the energy again. We saw the effects especially with our outside shooting and some of our turnovers. There was some fatigue.”
For Trista Hull, it was much more than fatigue.
La Salle’s all-state post, who dominated Freeman with 26 points a week ago, was in and out of the lineup all game with flu-like symptoms and was visibly suffering. That she finished with 15 points, eight rebounds and two blocks was remarkable in itself.
“She was exhausted and we did the best we could to manage it,” the coach said. “Most any other game we would’ve sat her out, but she has a big heart.”
Freeman’s Jordyn Goldsmith, who was held to two points a week ago, produced 12 points and 16 rebounds, and teammate Anna Chisholm was 8 of 10 at the foul line and scored 16 points for the fourth-seeded Scotties, who finished 23-4.
Natalie Newman and Tahlia Klebaum gave La Salle an early spark combining for 10 points in the first quarter, which saw the Lightning open a 14-9 lead and then extend it to 20-13 in the second period.
Newman and Klebaum are two of four seniors along with Lilly and Elle Lancaster.
“They have been the leaders and the heart of this team,” Goins said.
La Salle, which lost guard Rylee Goins to a knee injury two weeks ago, finished 21-5 with the program’s third consecutive state trophy and the prospect of another coming next season with four starters back.
“In order for a season to go perfectly everything has to fall in place — to stay healthy, to be a little lucky, to play the right teams on the right days,” said Goins, who saw all that happen a year ago with a state championship. “It wasn’t our year for that, but I’m so proud of these kids and how hard they played and how good they were together.”
LA SALLE — Martin 2, Ashby 6, Stohr 2, Trista Hull 15, Newman 8, L. Lancaster 0, E. Lancaster 0, Sigler 3, Klebaum 4, Standley 0. Totals 13-52 10-17 40.
FREEMAN — McLean 6, Crowley 5, Anna Chisholm 16, Parisotto 0, Jordyn Goldsmith 12, Denenny 0, Phipps 0, Sorrel Aldendort 10, Phillips 0, Ja. Goldsmith 0. Totals 14-49 20-33 49.
La Salle 14 11 0 15 — 40
Freeman 9 13 13 14 — 49
Highlights: Gillian Martin (LS) 8 rebs; Hayley Stohr (LS) 5 rebs, 2 stls; Hull (LS) 8 rebs, 2 blks; Lilly Lancaster (LS) 3 stls; Ellis Crowley (F) 5 rebs, 4 stls; Chisholm (F) 5 rebs, 5 stls; Jo. Goldsmith (F) 16 rebs, 2 blks; Aldendorf (F) 5 rebs.