Playoff basketball games are not always museum-ready works of art.
They’re often battles decided as much by scrappiness, grit and determination as skill and precision.
White Pine’s girls brought a little bit of everything to the table Saturday and walked away with a Division III Southern League title.
Debra Kingston had 19 points and nine rebounds to lead the Bobcats to a 54-48 win over Agassi Prep in the Southern League final at Desert Pines. Both teams advance to next week’s state tournament in Reno.
“Our seniors were huge for us,” said White Pine coach Krystal Smith, whose team won its second consecutive playoff title. “Debra Kingston and Ashlyn Huntington, when those two are on the floor, they’re tough, even not on their best days.
“Those two just had a gutsy performance … to really get us going.”
The Bobcats (24-6) made their first seven field goal attempts of the second quarter and built a 30-23 halftime lead.
The hot shooting faded in the second half and the Stars (13-6) closed to within 35-32 on two free throws by Denise Parker with 3:10 left in the third quarter.
Kadi Finicum’s three-point play 15 seconds later started a quick 7-0 run that gave White Pine just enough breathing room. Ashlyn Huntington capped the run when she blocked a 3-point shot, poked the rebound forward and raced in for a transition basket.
The Stars pulled within 46-42 midway through the fourth quarter, but got not closer. Finicum scored four points in the final three minutes and had all 10 of her points in the second half to keep Agassi Prep at bay.
“She scored in key situations for us,” Smith said of Finicum. “When the game was starting to get tight, she put us up by two more.”
Huntington added nine points and seven rebounds.
Destiny Rover had 20 points, and Lovely Glinton added 10 points for Agassi Prep, which was competing in its first league title game.