Pioneers’ final flurry downs Tiger girls

Photo by Brent Baker — Devan Utt battles with Omak's Shawnee Covington for a loose ball during the Tigers' loss to the Pioneers on Jan. 19.

Photo by Brent Baker — Devan Utt battles with Omak’s Shawnee Covington for a loose ball during the Tigers’ loss to the Pioneers on Jan. 19.

OMAK – Tonasket’s girls basketball team had a five point lead and plenty of momentum late in the third quarter at Omak.

It wasn’t enough to carry the Tigers to victory as the Pioneers awoke with a 21-5 run to pull away to what ended up as a 53-45 victory for the ladies in red and black.

“We’re just so inconsistent when it comes to our shooting,” said Tonasket coach Mike Larson. “It seems like we can be blazing hot or ice cold, both individually and as a team, from one game to the next or even in the same game.

“That, and we just had way to many silly, unforced turnovers.”

It looked like Omak would run away and hide early as the Pioneers led 17-9 early in the second quarter thanks largely to sharpshooting freshman Jade Sargent.

The Tigers’ only sharpshooter, Baylie Tyus, answered with a scalding second quarter – 4-of-5 from 3-point range – to put Tonasket up 26-24 at the half.

Devan Utt, who spend most of the first half on the bench with foul trouble, hit a triple of her own to give the Tigers a 35-30 lead. The Pioneers’ pressure defense turned the tide, forcing a bushel of Tonasket turnovers for easy baskets, while Sargent and Shawnee Covington combined to hit four triples during the big Omak run.

“We’re trying to get the girls to where they’re not having to think all the time, to just go out and play the game,” Larson said. “A lot of that is just game time. We didn’t play any games over the summer, and we’re playing against teams that played a lot of summer basketball. So when you get into a close game, it’s about knowing what things have to be done. A 20 foot pass isn’t one of them, and neither is giving their 3-point shooters that step on the perimeter.”

The Tigers (4-12, 0-6 CTL) were paced by Utt with 13 points, Tyus with 12 and Kylie Dellinger with 10.

“Dellinger had a real good game off the bench,” Larson said. “When Devan got in foul trouble, it didn’t hurt as much as it might have because Kylie came in and played very well.”

Sargent had 24 and Covington 12 for the Pioneers (5-11, 1-5).

The Tigers also fell to Chelan on Friday, Jan. 20, 76-32.

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