Pirates start fast, dominate Ducks to advance to semifinals


SPOKANE — For each of four days leading into their state quarterfinal, the Adna Pirates practiced right at 12 p.m.

After defeating Okanogan in Wenatchee on Friday in the opening round of the state tournament, the Pirates never went back home.

Instead, they opted to stay east of the mountains, practicing daily at the time of their quarterfinal in hopes of establishing a routine that would benefit them in Spokane.

The attention to detail paid off in a big way for the Pirates on Thursday, as Adna bolted out of the gates to a massive lead and trounced Toutle Lake 62-36 in the 2B quarterfinals.

“We know how to travel,” Adna coach Chris Bannish said. “We’re a mature group, and it showed today … It was amazing to see.”

The outcome was almost never in doubt, as the Pirates scored the first 12 points of the game and led 22-4 late in the first quarter.

It was the Karsyn Freeman show early on, as the junior guard hit three 3-pointers and tallied 15 points in the first quarter. She continued to dominate in the second, and she went into the locker room with 27 points, 10 more than Toutle Lake, which trailed 45-17.

“Karsyn did her thing,” Bannish said. “She just came out and just played hard offensively and attacked.”

Freeman and the Pirates slowed down offensively in the second half, but it didn’t matter much. The Ducks struggled to make a dent in their deficit and never got back within 20.

Freeman went on to finish with 31 points, six rebounds, three assists, and three steals.

As the attention shifted to Freeman, Gaby Guard was able to find some open looks from the perimeter. She hit four 3-pointers and finished with 15 points.

Bailey Chapman was stout defensively in the paint, blocking four shots and tallying four steals while adding 10 points and nine rebounds.

Kendall Humphrey didn’t record a basket, but she did haul in seven rebounds. Danika Hallom scored six points and dished out four assists.

“It took a long time to gel this thing. They’ve gelled now,” Bannish said. “They all understand their roles. And we’re at the point in the season where, if everybody plays their role, we’re gonna be okay. I’m pretty proud of what this group is.”

Adna is back in the state semifinals for the first time since 2012, and they’ll be looking to advance to the state championship game for the first time in school history. The Pirates will take on the winner of the Napavine-Brewster quarterfinal on Friday.

Bannish is excited to not only potentially play for a championship, but to represent the fan base that has been among the loudest in Spokane.

“It’s not just about us, it’s about Adna,” Bannish said. “We’re trying to put Adna on the map.”