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Cold shooting downfall for East Valley girls in 53-37 loss to W.F. West

YAKIMA – East Valley believed its zone defense would provide a chance to upset highly regarded W.F. West on Thursday in the girls State 2A basketball tournament at the SunDome.

That defense played as well as anyone could have hoped for the first 24 minutes, but in the end it was the Knights’ shooting that betrayed them in a 53-37 quarterfinal loss.

The Knights were able to play the Bearcats close for a half, but EV’s inability to wrest the lead and the momentum away took a toll as the taller West squad pulled away.

Twice in the first 16 minutes EV took advantage of West’s ineffective 3-point shooting to cut the deficit to four points.

With the Knights playing a zone defense to combat the Bearcats’ huge height advantage, West lobbed up 11 3-pointers but hit just one.

That was the outcome EV coach Rich Collins wanted, but he was counting on his team shooting the ball well.

“We did what we needed to do to have a chance to be in it,” Collins said. “We missed a bunch of free throws and that really hurt us.”

A bunch was 14 – nine of those in the second half.

Hannah Burand led East Valley with 13 points and grabbed seven rebounds. Alex Rankin had 11 points.

EV faces Port Angeles in a loser-out game at 9 a.m. today. If the Knights win they will play in the fourth-place game on Saturday morning.