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GIRLS BASKETBALL: Falcons prove unstoppable in first-round win over Ashland

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - La Salle Preps Addi Wedin moves down the floor on a fastbreak in the first half of the Falcons 97-41 playoff win over Ashland. She finished with a game-high 43 points.

5A playoffs, first round

Team Score
#2 La Salle Prep Falcons
Ashland Grizzlies

The La Salle Prep girls basketball team got through the first round of the 5A playoffs in a flash, blowing past Ashland 97-41 on Friday night.

The competitive phase of the game was over in a matter of minutes, starting with the Falcons winning the opening tip and junior Addi Wedin racing to the rim for a layup.

Ashland gathered the ball out of the net and promptly sent its inbounds pass high and into the bleachers. La Salle converted the turnover into points immediately when Emily Niebergall sank a 3 from the top of the arc and swung her fist through the air to celebrate.

The Falcons were up 5-0 before the visiting Grizzlies had taken a dribble.

It would get worse for Ashland, which came up empty on its first six possessions, coughing the ball up on four of them.

Meanwhile, La Salle was flying full-speed ahead.

Mia Skoro whipped a pass through traffic that found Wedin cutting down the far side of the lane for a layup, and a Falcons' steal set up Niebergall for another deep ball. The Falcons found themselves up 19-2 midway through the first quarter.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - Players along the bench react after seeing a 3-pointer drop in the fourth quarter.

Wedin was scoring at a Wilt Chamberlain pace, using a mix of spins through the lane and long-range 3s, to put up 26 points through the game's first 10 minutes.

She took a rest early in the second quarter, and Niebergall took over the scoring load with a run of 3-pointers that stretched the lead to 53-14 with four minutes left until halftime.

"The biggest thing about this team is that we genuinely love each other, and every basket we make, everyone is involved in that," Wedin said. "We're at that point in the season where it's win or go home, and anytime we bring that kind of energy, we're going to have a good game."

La Salle kept it rolling with Ella Wedin ripping the net with a 3-pointer at the third-quarter horn, while her teammates gave her a five-second countdown from the bench.

The Falcons put up 84 points through three quarters, and would threaten the century mark while using mostly swing players in the fourth.

PMG PHOTO: DAVID BALL - La Salle Preps Rhyan Mogel dribbles into the lane.

Addi Wedin finished with a game-high 43 points, while Niebergall added 21.

Postseason blowouts are nothing new for the Falcons, who have beaten their opening-round opponent by an average of 38.7 points per game over the past six years — Friday's 56-point margin being the biggest during that span.

The No. 2-ranked Falcons travel to Corvallis for the 5A tournament at Gill Coliseum, starting with an 8:15 p.m. quarterfinal game Tuesday against Corvallis. La Salle Prep has won 18 of its last 20 elimination games, dating back to 2015.

ASHLAND 9 14 12 6 — 41

LA SALLE 25 37 22 13 — 97

Ashland (41) — Nina Munson 13, Sollinger 8, Abel 7, Moran 5, Barnes 2, Baldwin 2, Losinski 2, Cooper 2.

La Salle Prep (97) — Addi Wedin 43, Niebergall 21, E. Wedin 8, Mogel 7, Drango 5, Sisul 4, Collins 4, Shackleton 3, Buchanan 2, Skoro, Buerk.

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