Shocker girls season is cut short

Lexi Dieshl (22). Elizabeth Katovich (10) and Alyssa Hansen (30) on the defense against DeSales in CW2BL district play in Granger on Feb. 9. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

 

By David Heiling
Empire Press Correspondent

Sarah Mullen (13) and Justine Clements (24) are set to head down the court against DeSales. (Provided photo/Stephanie Stibal)

GRANGER — The Shockers girls basketball team fell to DeSales from Walla Walla on Feb. 9 in Granger, 50-32. The loss ends Waterville/Mansfield’s season.

The Shockers accomplished something no other Waterville/Mansfield team has done in recent memory: win 11 games in Central Washington 2B League play, beat Brewster, flip their record from 5-11 in 2016-17 to 11-5 in 2017-18, and tie for third place in the standings at the end of the season.

The Shockers hung their collective hat on the defensive side of the ball all year long, and the third quarter in particular doomed Waterville/Mansfield on Feb. 9.

“They knocked in some 3-pointers early and often in that third quarter,” Waterville/Mansfield coach Kieth Finkbeiner said after the game. “That hurt us.”

Senior Justine Clements finished with 16 points to pace the Shockers in her last game in a Waterville/Mansfield uniform.

“They need to walk out of here with their heads held high,” Finkbeiner said. “They had a fantastic year. You know, I just told them that I was sorry we couldn’t play our best game out there tonight. I really wanted them to be able to experience playing in the postseason at a high level. We consistently played well on defense all season long and unfortunately, we couldn’t get it done tonight. We did this with a pretty young team and everyone in that locker room should be proud of the season we had.”

Finkbeiner also praised his three seniors — all of whom played their last game on Feb. 9 — for excellent contributions on and off the court in their time wearing the Shockers white and red.

“The leadership and the effort they brought to the table every single night didn’t go unnoticed,” Finkbeiner said. “Those girls left a winning tradition here and were great role models all season long.”