The first playoff game of the season went as expected Thursday night for the Prairie girls basketball team.
A lot of steals.
Plenty of points on offense.
Very few given up on defense.
The Prairie Plan.
Plus there was the unexpected: Prairie won the third quarter 23-1.
Jozie Tangeman scored 12 points, Natalie Whitesel added 10 and all 12 Falcons scored in a 60-27 victory over Enumclaw in the opening round of the Class 3A bi-district girls basketball tournament. Prairie will advance to the quarterfinals to play Bonney Lake at 1:45 p.m. Saturday at Franklin Pierce High School.
Saturday’s winner will advance to the semifinals, but more importantly, earn a berth to the Class 3A state regional round of 16.
That’s the next goal for these Falcons, who eventually want to end up in the state quarterfinals at the Tacoma Dome.
Thursday was the first step in that direction.
Tangeman connected on back-to-back 3-pointers early in the third quarter, and a 12-point lead quickly ballooned for the Falcons. Enumclaw did not make a field goal in the period, and seven Falcons combined to score 23 points to make it a 34-point advantage headed into the fourth quarter.
Prairie did it with defense. Kris Rocci came off the bench and had seven steals.
“Coach says I’m the little engine starter,” Rocci said. “Everyone has a role. My role is defense. If I get the defense going, it helps to make shots for the offense, for the scorers to score.
“If I can help out anyway I can, that’s good.”
Prairie coach Brett Johnson said he had to sit Rocci for a few games late in the season for her to heal from some minor bumps and bruises associated with going full speed all the time, diving on the floor, being a ball hawk.
Now it’s playoff time. Now all the Falcons are ready to answer the call.
“The first half, I was a little bit upset. I told them they weren’t playing like I know they can,” Johnson said. “Third quarter, they got the rebounds they usually do and they held a team to one point. You can’t ask for much more than that.”
Cherita Daugherty had eight points and five assists. Mallory Williams also scored eight points for the Falcons.
The fourth quarter allowed for all the Falcons to get in the scoring column.
“This is a good start,” Rocci said of the postseason. “Hopefully we’ll be able to keep up this good energy and teamwork.”
PRAIRIE 60, ENUMCLAW 27
ENUMCLAW — Morgan Tinney 3, Sam Engebretson 5, Madison Bosik 2, Kysa Bursch 4, Jessica Cerne 5, No. 33 6, Kyndra Rubremacher 2. Totals 6 (4) 11-24 27.
PRAIRIE — Sarina Martinez 1, Deja Gobert 2, Cassidy Gardner 4, Kris Rocci 1, Jozie Tangeman 12, Mallory Williams 8, Grace Prom 6, Malaika Quigley 3, Macey Hsu 3, Cherita Daugherty 8, Natalie Whitesel 10, Lauren Vreeken 2. Totals 20 (8) 12-23 60.
Enumclaw 7 8 1 11–27
Prairie 14 13 23 10–60