Prairie girls beat Wilson to claim bi-district crown

By Paul Valencia, Columbian high school sports reporter



TACOMA — The Prairie Falcons are looking like old-school Prairie Falcons.

You know, like they can compete with anybody in the state.

They will get their shot to advance to the state tournament next week. First, they had to complete their mission of taking the Class 3A bi-district girls basketball tournament.

They did just that Saturday night with an overpowering second half, blowing past Wilson of Tacoma 63-42 at Pacific Lutheran University.

Nicole Goecke, having a monster postseason, made five 3-pointers and scored 25 to lead the Falcons, who improved to 21-3 heading into next week's sweet 16. The regional is a one-win-to-state, one-loss-and-done scenario.

The Falcons will play Bishop Blanchet of Seattle in the 3A regionals. The date, time and site of the game will be announced today by the WIAA.

The Falcons expect to be playing for a couple of weeks, all the way to the Tacoma Dome for the Class 3A state tournament.

Saturday's victory was over the defending bi-district champion. Prairie had won the previous two bi-districts before Wilson's title last season.

The Falcons clinched this one with a 10-0 run to end the third quarter. They then scored six of the first seven in the fourth for a 16-1 run, turning a two-point game into a 17-point advantage.

Goecke was 5 for 8 from 3-point range. She also had a team-high nine rebounds to go with three assists and three blocked shots.

Cherita Daugherty scored 19 points and was 11 for 11 from the line. She also had six assists.

"We wanted to win this really bad," Daugherty said. "Just to show. Not a lot of people expected us to get this far. I think we proved a point."

Lindsay Asplund did not score but made her presence known on defense with five steals and hustle.

A three-point game in the third quarter, Asplund won a 50-50 ball on a long rebound, then threw a long pass over the Wilson defense to start a fast break. Goecke would then feed Jamie Phares for a quick bucket to make it 34-29 and the Falcons were on their way.

In a game that was tied at 29 early in the third, the Falcons would eventually push the lead to 24.

"I have to think about how defense wins games," Asplund said. "If my shot isn't falling, I can make it up on defense."

Prairie's defense forced Wilson into 28 turnovers. The Falcons had eight turnovers in the first quarter, then just seven the rest of the night.

All 12 Falcons got into the game.

Then all 12 took turns cutting down the net.


WILSON -- Jose Matz 8, Kiara Knox 4, Tyra Foster 5, Violet Morrow 15, Kiara McMillan 8, Amanda Darden 2, Paige Costello 0, Aujanique Doss 0, Rache' Dixon 0, Kalayah DeGregory 0, Jalani Thompson 0, Desiree Ayler 0. Totals 16-46 (3-10) 7-14 42.

PRAIRIE -- Linday Asplund 0, Nicole Goecke 25, Emily Peters 5, Cherita Daugherty 19, Natalie Whitesel 2, Jamie Phares 3, Malia Teriiapaia 5, Josie Tangeman 0, Grace Prom 2, Jordan Adams 0, Casey Sorenson 0, Robin Cole 2. Totals 19-59 (5-17) 20-26 63.

Wilson 10 12 10 10--42

Prairie 11 18 15 19--63