The road was not kind to the Wenatchee Panthers and Eastmont Wildcats on Thursday night.
Both girls basketball teams came up short in loser-out Big Nine district play against higher-seeded teams — the Panthers fell 59-28 to the league champion Moses Lake Chiefs, while third-seeded Eastmont lost 46-33 to a second-seeded Davis team it had beaten just six days prior.
Moses Lake will host Davis at 7 p.m. Saturday in the district title game.
Moses Lake 59, Wenatchee 28
The Chiefs’ backcourt combination of McKenna Walker (23 points) and Jessie Loera (18) made it a long night for the Panthers.
“Their two guards played real well for them. They really controlled the game and shot the ball well,” Wenatchee coach Robin Kansky said. “They were playing at a speed that we weren’t.”
Wenatchee trailed by just three after the first quarter, but Moses Lake went into overdrive by outscoring the Panthers 21-9 in the second quarter.
“The first quarter we played OK with them, and then in the second quarter we got into foul trouble. They were just relentless,” Kansky said.
Freshman post Maddi Hallberg led Wenatchee with eight points.
The Panthers will benefit from the brief postseason experience, as their entire roster will be back next season.
“I told them as long as we learn from it, it’s valuable,” Kansky said.
Davis 46, Eastmont 33
A slow first three quarters and an 18-percent shooting percentage prevented the Wildcats from advancing to Saturday’s district championship game.
“(Davis) just came out with a lot of intensity in front of their home crowd, and it was loud from the tipoff,” Eastmont coach Tessa Bromiley said. “It got us a little rattled, and it took us a while to calm down and get settled into things.”
Eastmont made an attempt to get back in the game in the fourth quarter, but it was too late.
“I think with probably five minutes left in the fourth we had a pretty good run and started moving the ball well offensively,” Bromiley said. “We didn’t get close calls we would have liked, and we had some unforced turnovers. … We tend to come out with a little more intensity in the fourth quarter, and you can’t wait that long to put the pressure on them.”
Alexis Perez scored 14 points to lead the Pirates, while California Lutheran University-bound Kylie Buterbaugh paced Eastmont with 11 points.
Thursday was the final game for Buterbaugh, four-year varsity guard Nikki Gilbert and post Kelsie Best.