SPOKANE — The Lake Roosevelt girls basketball team rebounded from a gut-wrenching loss to Toutle Lake to claim their highest-ever finish at the state tournament, defeating Darrington 59-50 on Saturday to take home third place.
It was the first state trophy for the Raiders sicne finishing seventh in 2005.
Raiders coach Pee Wee Pleasants said a late-night pizza party after the 40-38 loss on Friday got the girls refocused.
“We sat around the hotel room last night, got $200 worth of pizza and talked about a lot of things,” he said. “The girls went to bed around midnight and woke up this morning ready to go. They had a new attitude and we went right back to our motto of one game at a time.”
Lake Roosevelt finished the season with a record of 20-9 after posting a 13-7 regular season mark, a tremendous improvement from a 5-15 season in 2009-10.
“We knew at the start of the season that we’d be better than last year’s record, and midway through the year everything finally started to click,” Pleasants said. “We got through a little injury bug and by the end of the regular season you could tell that we were just getting a little bit better every game.”
Defense has been the Raiders calling card over their blistering final month, and after Darrington closed the first half on a 13-1 run to take a six-point lead into the break, it was time to break out the ‘D’.
“We extended out a little further and got aggressive with their guards,” Pleasants said. “We got everything going to the left and made them a little uncomfortable.”
The Loggers were held to five third-quarter points and 18 percent shooting (4-for-22) in the second half.
The Raiders took the lead on the strength of Jada Desautel and Dominique Pleasants, who combined for 17 second-half points.
Briana Monaghan, who led the team with 16 in the game, hit a crucial 3-pointer on a fast break with 4:40 to go in the game that took the wind out of Darrington’s sails.
The scary part for the rest of Class 2B is that Lake Roosevelt has no seniors, so this same group will be back to make another run next season.
Brian Adamowsky: 664-7157