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Originally published February 29, 2008 at 12:00 AM | Page modified February 29, 2008 at 12:16 AM

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4A Girls Basketball | Icy Ballard wakes from dream season

A splendid season ground to a disappointing halt Thursday night for Ballard. After reaching the round of 16 for the first time since 1984...

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TACOMA — A splendid season ground to a disappointing halt Thursday night for Ballard.

After reaching the round of 16 for the first time since 1984, when that stage was still considered a regional round, the Beavers saw their first official Class 4A girls state tournament run end with a 55-45 quarterfinal loss to Pasco on Friday at the Tacoma Dome.

Despite a night of off-target shooting (23.4 percent from field) and inconsistent ball-handling (19 turnovers), Ballard (22-3) trailed 48-45 with 1:17 left. The Beavers misfired on their final four possessions as Pasco (22-5) hit free throws to build its largest lead of the game.

Ballard plays Kentwood today at 3:30 for a chance to play for fourth place. Pasco takes on Moses Lake in an all-Eastern Washington semifinal tonight at 8:30.

"Obviously we didn't shoot well and we had a lot of turnovers," said third-year coach Karen Blair, who led Meadowdale to state titles in 2000 and 2004. "Right now teams from the East are 6-0, so they're a quality group.

"We didn't make some plays down the stretch and had some stupid fouls, and they did a good job executing late and hitting clutch free throws."

Jeanette Hansen, a 6-foot-5 exchange student from Denmark, led the Beavers with 16 points and 16 rebounds. Kayla Williams added 15 points. They were the only two Ballard players to hit any shots from the field the entire game. Danielle Walker led Pasco with 19.

"We had a lot of turnovers because their full-court pressure just kind of took us out of running anything," Blair said.

Blair still views the season as a success. "It's been an unbelievable run," Blair said. "If someone would have told me that we would have been 21-2 going to the state tournament and being a district champ and co-champs of our league, I would have asked, 'What have you been smoking?' "

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