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Tigercats ruin KW's 2001 state debut
"SPOKANE - Three key turnovers in the last 1 minute, 35 seconds erased King's West's chances of making a comeback against the LaCrosse-Washtucna Tigercats in the first round of the state Class B girls basketball tournament Wednesday at the Spokane Arena.Trailing 49-48, the Warriors (20-5) turned the ball over on a shot clock violation. At the other end, Amanda Evans - who made just one other basket the entire game - knocked down a 3-pointer, putting the Tigercats up by four. Two more costly turnovers and a few free throws later, LaCrosse-Washtucna came away with a hard fought 57-48 win.Yeah, I am disappointed, said King's West coach Tom Oliver. but our goal is to play Saturday and we still have a chance. We're pretty tough. We need somebody to step up.From Wednesday's opening tip, it looked as though the Warriors' game plan was to utilize their speed. They ran to a quick 10-3 lead behind two layups from senior guard Marica Bulette. LaCrosse-Washtucna looked unprepared for the Warriors' intense fullcourt press that forced 11 first half turnovers, 21 for the game.After adapting to the press, though, the Tigercats clawed their way back into the game. An early seven-point deficit exploded into a nine-point lead at the half.King's West got into early foul trouble during that time, giving the opposition seven points off free throws and sending post player Beth Grams to the bench with three fouls. For the game, the Tigercats had the free throw edge, hitting 15 of 23 while the Warriors were just 1 of 4.The team hurt when Grams got into foul trouble, said Oliver.King's West headed to the locker room a little disappointed but still optimistic.At halftime I said the game will be decided within the first three minutes of the third quarter. They will either bury us or we can make it a game, Oliver said.And make it a game they did. An 8-0 run capped by a Bulette jumper trimmed the Tigercat lead to one. After exchanging a few baskets, the game was tied at 39 heading into the fourth quarter.Danielle Ayers-Stamper came alive for LaCrosse-Washtucna in the fourth quarter scoring eight of her game-high 13 points. Warriors sharpshooter Bekah Walker tried her best to answer. Walker scored five key points to keep her team close. But her layup that made the score 49-48, was King's West's final basket of the game.The biggest difference was rebounding, Oliver said. That hurt the most.The Tigercats did hold the rebounding edge at 34-24, 11 of which were offensive, leading to many easy putbacks.Bulette led King's West with 12 points, followed by Walker's 11 and junior Lindsey Redfern's 10. Ayers-Stamper got 12 points of support from Kate Baumann for LaCrosse-Washtucna. "