BRUSH PRAIRIE — Playoff games aren’t supposed to be easy.
Especially not this easy when it felt like the Prairie Falcons couldn’t miss, and for a time in Friday night’s bi-district victory over Yelm, they didn’t.
That’s why, as senior guard Allie Corral said, they even surprised themselves in a 81-37 home playoff win over the Tornados. Prairie did just about everything right in a swift, 1-hour, 5-minute contest that secured Prairie (14-7 overall) a spot at regionals.
But before that is the 3A bi-district semifinals, where it’ll be an all-3A Greater St. Helens League semifinal at 7 p.m. Wednesday against Hudson’s Bay. The Eagles topped South Sound Conference champion Capital, 51-43, on Friday. Wednesday’s game likely will be moved to a Clark County venue.
On Friday, Corral was one of many Falcons to have the hot hand with a game-high 27 points on nine made 3s. In total, Prairie hit a season-high 17, which surpasses their previous high of 11 twice, coach Hala Corral said.
After missing her first two attempts, Allie Corral hit six of her next seven, and her nine total 3-pointers ranks second all-time in Prairie’s single-game record books, one behind Megan Lindsley’s 10 in 2012. Claire Heitschmidt added a double-double of 17 points and 12 rebounds, and the Falcons’ defense had 12 steals en route to holding Yelm to a season-low in points scored.
Not only did Prairie come out of the gates hot with its shots, it didn’t let up for all 32 minutes.
The Falcons shot 55 percent from the floor, including a 61-percent clip in the first half when it held a comfortable 42-19 lead on the second-place team from the South Sound Conference.
“The momentum in the game only got higher and higher,” said Allie Corral, whose nine 3s is one back of Megan Lindsley’s single-game mark of 10 from 2012. “Going into the next games, the momentum is just going to keep happening.”
As it turned out, the halftime break never doused Prairie’s shooting. A quick 10-4 spurt to start the third quarter quickly pushed the lead to 60-24.
Six Falcons hit at least one 3-pointer Friday. After Corral’s nine 3s came three by Heitschmidt, two from Dayna Vera, and one apiece by Hannah Clouse, Lauren Sautter and Kori Clark.
Confidence climbs when shooters are finding their stroke, said Vera. She was one of four Falcons in double figures with 11 points. She also added three steals.
“Once people start hitting their shots, we have so much energy … that really carries us.,” she said. “We just got into that rhythm and it keeps happening.”
PRAIRIE 81, YELM 37
YELM — Imani Tustison 5, Isabella Foxley 2, My’Kel Jones 11, Madison Plevyak 4 Bayleigh Harder 10, Grace Cebula 2. Totals 12 (4) 7-15 37.
PRAIRIE — Dayna Vera 11, Meri Dunford 10, Allie Corral 27, Trinity Perrin 0, Kaitlyn Caughey 1, Anna Neal 0, Lauren Sauter 3, Kori Clark 3, Claire Heitschmidt 17, Hannah Clouse 3, Kylie Diaz 6. Totals 31 (17) 2-6 81.
Yelm 9 10 7 11 – 37
Prairie 19 23 18 21 – 81