TACOMA — The Edmonds-Woodway High School girls basketball team hung close for a half.
But as the game wore on, top-seeded Prairie’s collection of talent and pinpoint long-distance shooting proved too much.
The Falcons buried 11 3-pointers and pulled away to hand the 15th-seeded Warriors a 58-39 loss Thursday morning in a Class 3A Hardwood Classic quarterfinal at the Tacoma Dome.
“We took away one of their scorers, but you only can hold a great team down for a while,” Edmonds-Woodway coach Jon Rasmussen said. “And all of a sudden, once the floodgates opened, it was over.”
The Warriors (15-10) kept Prairie’s leading scorer in check, limiting Portland State-bound guard Cassidy Gardner to just two points.
But the Falcons’ other NCAA Division-I recruit more than filled the void.
Brooke Walling, a 6-foot-2 Fresno State signee, drained five 3-pointers and led Prairie with 21 points. Kendyl Carson added 12 points for the Falcons (23-2), who advanced to Friday’s state semifinal against fourth-seeded Kamiakin.
“You’ve gotta pick your poison against them,” Rasmussen said. “(Walling) is a good shooter, … but it wasn’t just her that beat us. It was the whole team.”
That was particularly evident during Prairie’s decisive third-quarter run.
With Edmonds-Woodway trailing just 23-22 early in the second half, four different Falcons sank 3-pointers during a 14-2 spurt that stretched Prairie’s lead to double digits. The Warriors trimmed the deficit to nine points late in the third quarter before Prairie rattled off another run, scoring 10 straight points to push its lead to 49-30.
“I thought we kind of lost our legs,” said Rasmussen, whose team was coming off a victory over seventh-seeded Bethel in Wednesday’s elimination round. “(Prairie) didn’t play yesterday, (and) we did. We played a great first half. We came out in the second half (and) got some good looks. We just didn’t hit them. … We were a little tired down the stretch.”
Rebekah Dasalla-Good, a senior, led Edmonds-Woodway with 16 points. AJ Martineau provided a team-high eight assists for the Warriors, who held an early lead after limiting Prairie to just two points through the game’s first five minutes.
Walling then heated up with 11 points over the final 2 1/2 minutes of the opening period — including three consecutive 3-pointers — to pull the Falcons in front. The versatile lefty finished 5-of-11 from 3-point range.
“We gave them a good run for their money for at least a half,” Rasmussen said. “… I thought overall we worked hard, but just came up a little short today.”
The loss dropped Edmonds-Woodway into the consolation bracket. The Warriors face Wesco 3A rival and No. 11 seed Snohomish at 9 a.m. Friday for a spot in Saturday’s trophy round. The Panthers topped Edmonds-Woodway 46-44 in a Jan. 4 conference game.
“We’ve gotta forget about this one now,” Rasmussen said. “… No one expected us to be where we are now, and we’re still playing, so let’s hope we can get one more game after (Friday) if we can beat Snohomish.”