YAKIMA – After one quarter of their game against Burlington-Edison, the West Valley Eagles had their first-round state tournament opponent right where they wanted them – in the lead by a large margin.
But with an escape act that Harry Houdini would be proud of, the Eagles (19-5) stormed back to advance into the quarterfinals with a 34-29 win in the State 2A girls basketball tournament at the SunDome on Wednesday.
The Eagles will play Hockinson tonight at 5:30 in the second quarterfinal. A win there would guarantee the Eagles a state tournament trophy, their second in five state trips.
The Eagles watched as Burlington dashed out to a 13-1 lead after one period. After that, West Valley slowly but steadily reeled the Tigers in, holding Burlington-Edison to four second half field goals and finally taking the lead late in the third period on a 3-pointer by Hannah Love – a shot coach Lorin Carlon called “big” – and then clamping down on the Tigers in the final period.
“We’ve played from behind all year,” a hoarse Carlon said after the game. “We’re probably too used to it. We changed up our defense in the second quarter and that helped us a lot.”
It also helped that the Eagles outrebounded the Tigers 45-32 and forced 17 turnovers.
Hannah Love scored 13 of her 16 points in the second half.
Archbishop Murphy 47, Pullman 43: The Greyhounds battled the top-ranked Wildcats straight up the whole way but finally fell, thanks in large part to shooting problems.
Pullman (20-3) will play River Ridge today at 2 p.m. in the last loser-out game.
The two-time defending champion Hawks were toppled by Kingston in the game immediately preceding Pullman’s contest.
Pullman hit just 32 percent of its shots. Only a first-half rebounding advantage of 29-20 over the taller Wildcats kept Pullman close. Pullman made the most of those rebounds, tallying 12 second-chance points to zero for AM.
AM helped its cause by hitting six 3-pointers in the first half, including one from the deep left corner by Shelby Lyman that gave the Wildcats a 24-20 lead at the break.
Jordan Levenseller led Pullman with 21 points. Shelby Cheslek had 14 rebounds.