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Shadle Park shuts down Ferndale

Highlanders face Prairie next

TACOMA – Most layup drills take a few minutes of warmup time before the beginning of each half.

Shadle Park’s layup drill lasted for 32 minutes of real time.

The Highlanders, without benefit of a free throw and just three 3-pointers, rolled to a 59-32 win over Ferndale in the first round of the State 3A girls basketball tournament Wednesday night at the Tacoma Dome by wracking up 17 assists on 28 baskets.

“Love and passion,” Highlanders senior Bianca Pope said after posting game highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. “We want to play as a team and shut them down.”

“They looked pretty good,” Shadle coach Chad Dezellem said. “It was our energy, our enthusiasm, just flying around and how they saw each other on the floor was just amazing.”

Shadle (20-6) moves into today’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal (8:10 if the games are as far behind as opening day) against perennial state power Prairie (21-4), which pulled away from Mercer Island 62-45.

“They’re big, they’re athletic and they get out in the passing lanes,” Dezellem said. “They won that game with defense.”

The Highlanders stuffed Ferndale (16-9) early, reeling off the first 10 points, pushing the lead to 13 in the first quarter and getting it up to 25 with more than 3 minutes left in the second.

Before they scored, the Golden Eagles had three misses and eight turnovers. By the secondquarter they were 2 for 8 with 11 turnovers. For the half it was 6 for 20 with 17 turnovers (for 18 Shadle points) and a 38-17 deficit.

“We just run around and be wild (on defense), like always,” sophomore Kendra Knutsen said.

If there was any weakness for the Highlanders, it was the lack of 3-pointers. Shadle was 0 for 4 in the first half, which mattered little in their layup drill of an offense. In the first half the Highlanders shot 63.3 percent with all the points coming from no more than 15 feet from the basket.

In the first half, Pope had 12 points and six rebounds, and Knutsen had 10 points and four assists. Knutsen finished with 12 points and five assists with limited playing time in the second half.

Ashley Honeycutt, a 6-foot senior who averages more than 20 points for Ferndale, finished with 14 points on 6-of-14 shooting.

“We pressured the pass so they couldn’t get a good pass inside and fronted her,” Dezellem said. “Our defensive rotations have been outstanding.”

“It was knowing when I fronted her I’d have a teammate behind me to back me up,” Pope said.

The Highlanders finished the game with 57 percent shooting after cooling off to 47.7 percent in the second half. Ferndale was just 15 percent in the second half, 21.7 for the game to go with its 27 turnovers.