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Girls high school basketball: Shortridge beats Washington 68-42

12:00 AM, Jan. 02, 2013 EST

Washington senior Chany'e Cannon is pressured by Shortridge junior Jenee Petersen, left, and senior Justina Fields during second half action Wednesday. Shortridge defeated Washington 68-42. / Doug McSchooler/for The Star

From the outset of Wednesday night's high school girls basketball matchup between Shortridge and Washington, the Blue Devils outplayed the sluggish Continentals, leading to a 68-42 victory.

Shortridge (9-3) jumped out to a 12-0 lead before Washington (8-3) scored its first of two first-quarter baskets with just over 2 minutes remaining.

"We like to come out quick and set the pace," Shortridge coach Kacie Symes said. "It puts us in control and we don't have to respond. We like to be proactive rather than reactive."

Midway through the third quarter, Shortridge reached its largest lead at 42-19.

In a span of about 8 minutes that bridged the third and fourth quarters, Washington fought back, outscoring the Blue Devils 21-12 to draw within 14.

But that type of play and intensity was short-lived, and the Continentals were only able to muster two more points over the final 5 minutes of the contest.

"We kind of hit that wall and gave them some easy buckets," Washington coach Josh Ham said. "We did not finish on the other end and they got the rebound, got out and got those easy buckets."

Some of those buckets came from Daisa Townsend. The junior led the Blue Devils' scoring with 18 points

"Dasia usually sets the pace for us," Symes said. "If she is on and pushing it up, our girls respond well with her."

Townsend said the team took their foot off the gas some as a result of scoreboard watching and seeing the lead they had.

"We pretty much thought it was over," she said. "They came out ready and trying with a really good player."

That player was Continentals junior Kayla Pruitt, who finished with a game-high 28 points, including nine from behind the arc.

"Our goal was to keep her under 12 to 15, and obviously we didn't do that," Symes said. "We needed to stop her transition a little sooner than we did. We let her get close to the basket and that really hurt us, especially in the fourth quarter."

Ham said his team was a little rusty coming off a two-week period in which they had practices and a game canceled due to the weather, but he added that Shortridge played a great game.

"We started strong and were able to maintain that," Symes said. "I am pleased to get out of here with a win, and a win like that is nice."



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