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Warriors' state tournament run ends
"The King's West Warriors were overmatched and knocked out of the girl's State B basketball tournament by Selkirk 47-30 Thursday after the second of two games at Spokane Veterans Memorial Arena.The Warriors (19-5, 3-4 in the postseason) went into Thursday's game on the verge of being swept from the double elimination tournament after their first-round loss on Wednesday against Lyle.The second game proved tougher than the first for the Warriors.Against Selkirk, the Warriors had their hands full with 5-foot-9 point guard Richea Allert and the Rangers.Allert scorched King's West for 18 points on the night, doubling her season points per game average. Along with Allert's 7-14 shooting performance, she added eight rebounds and six assists. Selkirk won their first state tourney game since 1983 by overcoming 25 percent second-half shooting.King's West also struggled offensively, hitting only 11 of 45 shots (24.4 percent) on the night.Junior center Beth Grams led the Warriors with nine points and 14 rebounds in the defeat. Grams' 14 rebounds were the most by any player in the eight girls tournament games Thursday.Our game is transition and pressure and they were able to break our (defensive) pressure and our running game, said King's West coach Tom Oliver.The Warriors' defensive breakdowns led to open shots for Allert, who drained five of eight field goals for 12 points.Oliver was very impressed by the Selkirk senior's performance against his team. She's a darn good ball player, Oliver said. It's hard to defend someone with that much height difference playing point guard.Although disappointed by their performances, the Warriors felt fortunate just to be in the tournament. Many didn't expect this King's West team to finish atop their league, let alone participate in the state tournament. Senior forward Kasey Treger was satisfied by her team's effort in the decisive loss. We played our best today. I have no regrets, she said.But they were not satisfied with their previous performance, the 52-45 loss to Lyle.Lyle proved just as good as their impressive season record (20-3) indicated. The Cougars minimized King's West's offensive threats with key reads and defensive adjustments. King's West looked as if they had things going their way against Lyle when Natasha Beals hit a 10-foot jumper to put the Warriors up 32-28 at halftime. But Lyle soon overtook King's West, taking a 36-34 lead in the third quarter. They never looked back as they owned the lead for the rest of the game. King's West junior Bekah Walker, who led all scorers in the first half with 12, was held to only 2 points in the second half. They (Lyle) guarded Walker with a box-and-one defense in the second half and we just didn't have anyone to step up and shoot the ball for us, Oliver said. Lyle frustrated the Warrior offense with halftime adjustments, and King's West made just five of 23 shots in the second half (21.7 percent).Lyle head coach Verlyn Smith knew that he needed to make a halftime change after watching Walker's first-half scoring. We were getting hit too bad down low, leaving her (Walker) open. We knew she was going to be a real scoring threat, so we decided to go box-and-one and our kids did a really good job in the second half, Smith said.Walker made five of her nine field goal attempts, including two of three 3-pointers. The rest of the team shot a dismal 36.7 percent (18-49). King's West was appearing at state for the fourth time in five season, but the Warriors have gone 1-8 at the tourney during that span. But this year's team had many different faces than the past state teams. Senior Kasey Treger is the lone player to play in the tournament last season. And most of the key players from this year's team will be back, Oliver pointed out, to make another run next year."