RICHLAND -- Most fans attending the Moses Lake-Richland girls basketball game Saturday probably expected to see a certain guard take over and hit a few shots.
Rather than watching University of Oregon-bound Jordan Loera dominate, though, it was Richland sophomore point guard Britney Pringle who hit the shots her team needed the most.
The low-scoring, 5-foot-7 Pringle made three 3-pointers and played stifling defense against Loera to lead the Bombers to a 52-42 CBBN 4A victory and a first-place tie with Moses Lake.
"They were pressuring Mandy (Machinal) and Katie (Mahoney), so I thought I should step up," Pringle said. "Normally as the point guard, I just run the offense ... but we all knew this was a big game and we all had to step up.
Premium content for only $0.99
For the most comprehensive local coverage, subscribe today.
"I think it was a good night to be on."
Pringle came into the game averaging 7.3 points, but on Saturday she scored 11, including two first-half 3-pointers that kept the game close.
"She stepped up," Moses Lake coach Matt Strophy said. "I didn't think of her as a focal point from watching film, and I'm not sure if she is a focal point, but she became one tonight. She had a great game."
With Richland trailing 29-25 midway through the third quarter, the momentum seemed to be tipping Moses Lake's way.
But the Bombers ripped off a 16-1 run, as Kennedy Corrigan, Machinal and Pringle all had 3-pointers in the charge to give Richland a 41-30 lead.
While the Richland offense was firing on all cylinders -- the Bombers made nine 3-pointers -- it was the defense that won the game.
While Loera finished with 16 points, six of those came in the final 25 seconds.
"We played a zone, but we made sure we knew where (Loera) was the entire time and we talked a lot," Pringle said. "It's pretty exciting to play against someone like her, though it can get intimidating at times."
Pringle wasn't too intimidated as she, Corrigan and Machinal all took turns hounding Loera.
"The plan was to rotate and keep working different girls on her," Richland coach Jerry Riggs said. "We didn't leave her alone with the ball the whole game. The girls did a good job and they executed defensively better than they had all year."
While Loera was being frustrated, Moses Lake post Kayla Bernsen was strong in the first half, scoring 13 points. But the 6-4 senior was held to just two second half points, as Richland buckled down on defense.
"Give them credit," Strophy said. "They made some adjustments and did a good job in the second half. We came in averaging 61 points and they held us to 42."
Machinal led the Bombers (5-1, 11-1) with 19 points and nine rebounds, while Mahoney added 14 points and six rebounds.
Loera's 16 points and 10 rebounds led the Chiefs (5-1, 11-3), who only had four players score.
MOSES LAKE (42)
Magie Munoz 2 1-6 5, Kayla Bernsen 6 3-7 15, Kyleigh Gamez 3 0-0 6, Jordan Loera 6 3-4 16, Kristi Brown 0 0-0 0, Tasha Gentry 0 0-0 0, Emily Olson 0 0-0 0, Sadie Nielsen 0 0-0 0. Totals 17 7-17 42.
Mandy Machinal 5 7-9 19, Katie Mahoney 3 6-6 14, Britney Pringle 3 2-3 11, Anna Croskrey 1 2-2 5, Jalyn Von Oelhoffen 0 0-0 0, Lauren Perry 0 0-0 0, Kennedy Corrigan 1 0-0 3. Totals 13 17-20 52.
Moses Lake 9 12 9 12 -- 42
Richland 13 9 13 17 -- 52
3-point goals -- Moses Lake 1 (Loera), Richland 9 (Pringle 3, Mahoney 2, Machinal 2, Corrigan, Croskrey). Total fouls -- Moses Lake 19, Richland 15. Rebounds -- Moses Lake 44 (Loera 10), Richland 26 (Machinal 9). Turnovers -- Moses Lake 19, Richland 13.