By GERRY STEELE
Powder Valley withstood a late Prairie City rally to earn a 61-53 victory Friday in the second round of the Class 1A girls state basketball playoffs at North Powder.
The win propels Powder Valley into this week's Class 1A state tournament which begins Wednesday at Baker High School. The Badgers will play Triangle Lake at 6:30 p.m.
The last time Powder Valley played in the tournament was in 2006 when Bingham's team defeated Crane for the 1A championship.
"None of these kids has played at the state tournament. They're all really excited," Bingham said.
The Badgers (20-4) defeated Prairie City (14-7) despite losing starter Jessica Pedro to a knee injury earlier in the week.
"We really miss our injured players," Bingham said. "You don't replace them. But we have a lot of good players. This was a good team win."
Ali Abrego, Jesi Stephens and McKinsey Hampton picked up the slack inside. Abrego finished with 17 points anbd 12 rebounds, Stephens 10 points and 14 rebounds, and Hampton, getting her first start, four points ane eight boards.
Alexandra Colton added 17 points, and Jayde Silbernagel nine.
"Silbernagel's points came in the third and fourth quarters," Bingham said. "They were all just so big.
"Ali, Jesi and McKinsey all had big nights on the boards. Our rebounding was just really big," he said.
Despite that control, Prairie City managed to battle back to within one point in the fourth quarter. But, Powder Valley wouldn't fold.
"Prairie City had some untimely turnovers. And we controlled the boards. And, we hit our free throws.
"Hitting 16 of 23 is pretty good for us," Bingham said.
"Prairie City had played zone agaist us all night. Then, when they had to switch to man we were able to get to th eline and made our free throws."
The Powder coach also gave Prairie City credit offensively.
"Credit them," he said. "They played a complete game. Prairie City played really well. They shot the ball really well, and from quite aways away. We were on them, they just shot the ball well."
Bingham also credited the Badgers' Katie Feik with a solid defensive effort. Feik held Prairie City's top scorer Colona Mecham to just four points.
"She had Mecham frustrated all night," Bingham said.
PRAIRIE CITY (53)
Mecham 2 0-0 4, Packard 2 0-0 4, Evans, Stewart 1 2-3 4, Black 5 4-7 15, Hill, Williams 8 2-4 18, Doty 0 1-3 1, Kell 3 1-4 7. Totals 21 10-21 53.
POWDER VALLEY (61) andshy;
Abrego 7 3-5 17, Feik 1 2-2 4, Hampton 2 0-0 4, Colton 5 7-10 17, Silbernagel 4 0-0 9, Stephens 3 4-6 10. Totals 22 16-23 61.
Prairie City 7
15 - 53
13 - 61
Powder Valleyandshy; 12
Three-point baskets - Black, Silbernagel. Fouled out -Williams, Kell. Total fouls -Prairie City 23, Powder Valley 14. Technicals -none.