When the postseason arrives, its time to step up one’s game, especially on defense.
Washington did that in a Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union basketball game Wednesday, taking a 44-28 Class 4A Region 7 win over the visitors from Oskaloosa.
“Our defense was great,” Washington coach Shannon Rugg said. “The whole team played great. I was really proud of the effort.”
The two teams had played at Oskaloosa Jan. 14 with the Demons taking a 10-2 first-quarter lead on the way to a 54-32 win.
Wednesday’s first quarter was much closer with the Demons holding just a 9-8 edge. A 14-8 second quarter gave Washington a 23-16 halftime lead.
“That first quarter was tight,” Rugg said. “We were able to stretch it out in the second quarter.”
Isabel Bailey scored 12 points for Washington and grabbed seven rebounds while handing out two assists and getting two steals.
“She was able to get into the lane against their man defense,” Rugg said of his senior. “Our seniors really led us by playing hard.”
Fellow senior Haylee Wilson had six rebounds and four points while senior Kira Ropp registered nine rebounds and seven points.
Junior Olivia Pacha hammered the boards for 11 rebounds and nailed 10 points off the bench. She was 4 of 5 from the field and 2 of 4 from the foul line.
“Pacha was aggressive and that was what we needed,” Rugg said. “We finished and that was important.”
The Demons took control of the game with a 14-4 third quarter.
“Our defense stepped up and got some stops,” Rugg said. “We challenged them and they really answered that challenge.”
Junior Addison Six came off the bench to record eight points on 4 of 6 shooting.
Washington improves to 8-13 and gets to play the defending state champions Saturday at Marion.
“We will show up and compete, just like any other game,” Rugg said. “It is a great opportunity and we will give it our best.”