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Lady Blackhawks loss to Pullman sends them on the road

Cheney Free Press of Cheney, Washington

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It took an extra four minutes to do it, but the Pullman High School girls' basketball team found a way to deny the Cheney girls their first home playoff game in three years.

The Greyhounds rallied from a four-point third quarter deficit to tie the game at 53 after regulation, and outscored the Lady Blackhawks 6-1 in overtime for a 59-54 win in the regular season finale for both teams Feb. 2 in Pullman. The win gives Pullman a 4-8 record in Great Northern League play, earning the No. 3 seed in the playoffs this week while Cheney falls to 3-9 and into the No. 4 seed.

Cheney head coach JT Johnson said his team was hurt by drives to the basket from the Greyhounds' Anne Mari Petrino, who scored a game-high 26 points along with four assists. Teammate Madi Mueller tossed in 17 points to go with 11 rebounds.

Cheney was led in scoring by the 22 points of Haley Pemberton and the 19 points of Aijia Loffreddi. Both players are freshmen, with Loffreddi recently called up from junior varsity prior to games Jan. 25 - 30.

"She did a great job," Johnson said. "She got good speed, quickness. She was a big boost for us."

Cheney drops to 7-13 overall on the season, and gets another shot at the Greyhounds as the two teams were to meet Tuesday night, Feb. 9, in Pullman in the opening round of the league playoffs. The winner will advance to face the winner of the Clarkston-West Valley hookup while the loser's season is finished.

Johnson feels good about the rematch with Pullman, noting the Lady Blackhawks won in the Greyhounds' gym once this season. All three games between the two schools have been close, and Johnson feels if they can stop Petrino's drives to the basket and play with a bit more energy, the Lady Blackhawks have a good shot at moving on to the next round.

"The playoffs are a different animal," Johnson said. "You've got to bring it."

John McCallum can be reached at

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Original Publication Date: February 11, 2016

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