TACOMA -- It took one quarter too long for Kamiakin on Friday.
One eight-minute period with no adjustments cost the Braves a shot at playing for the state title today.
Unbeaten Prairie used a suffocating full-court press to handcuff the Braves in a 53-41 Class 3A state tournament semifinal at the Tacoma Dome.
The Braves hadn't faced a press this good since a season-opening loss to Richland.
"We didn't stay composed," Kamiakin junior Khadidja Toure said. "They got 20 points off of unforced turnovers. Twenty points. It took us so long to adjust."
Prairie has been using its press to frustrate state tournament opponents for years, and the Braves knew it was coming. They just didn't handle it.
"We walked through it this morning, and they felt ready for it," Kamiakin coach Tammy Hutchison said. "When showtime came, they didn't adjust until the second quarter."
The Braves eventually settled down and forced Prairie out of the press, but were already behind by as many as 13 points.
"You never know how teams will deal with it," Prairie coach Al Aldridge said. "Sometimes its more effective than others. You don't have to get steals -- you get teams out of rhythm and doing odd stuff. That's making it work."
The Braves eventually put together some offense and defense in the fourth quarter after falling behind 45-26 with 6 minutes, 58 seconds left in the game.
Kamiakin used a 12-2 run to pull within single digits, as Courtney Nelson made a free throw and a 3-pointer, and Sira Toure, Khadidja Toure and Kaylee Nelson all burried jumpers.
The Braves defense then held, and they had a chance to cut the lead even further from 47-38. But a turnover -- a familiar sight on the day -- thwarted any hopes they had of rallying.
"I honestly don't know what to say," Khadidja Toure said. "We expected the press, and we just didn't take care of the ball.
"The most frustrating thing is they beat us, but take away those 20 points off of turnovers. If we take care of the ball, it could've been different."
The Braves were playing in the semifinals for the first time since 1996, when they defeated Foss. The moment appeared to get to Kamiakin a bit.
"People were turning over the ball that I didn't expect to," Hutchison said. "We really haven't seen someone with pressure like that. They really move well and trap and then hedge back to trap again. They were very quick and had ball pressure everywhere."
The Braves will now get a rematch with North Central at 11:15 a.m. today in the third-place game. North Central defeated Kamiakin 45-32 in the first round of the state tournament last Friday in Spokane.
"It's our last game, and we have to give everything," Khadidja Toure said. "We won't sulk because that isn't how Kamiakin plays."
Toure's 13 points led the Braves, while Courtney Nelson and Sira Toure added 10 points each. Kassy Larson had four points and nine rebounds.
KAMIAKIN -- Kassy Larson 2 0-0 4, Courtney Nelson 3 3-4 10, Kaylee Nelson 2 0-0 4, Khadidja Toure 5 2-2 13, Sira Toure 4 2-4 10, Krista Beach 0 0-0 0, Amanda Miller 0 0-0 0; Melanie Oord 0 0-0 0. Totals 16 7-10 41.
PRAIRIE -- Lanae Adams 1 0-0 2, Kelsey Asplund 1 0-0 2, Angela Gelhar 2 1-2 6, Lauren Goecke 2 4-4 8, Lynn Idelberger 0 0-0 0, Jackie Lanz 5 0-0 13, Megan Lindsley 2 6-6 12, Andrea Smith 1 0-0 2, Cori Woodward 4 0-1 9. Totals 18 11-13 54.
Kamiakin 6 12 6 17 -- 41
Prairie 19 6 18 11 -- 54
3-point goals -- Kamiakin 2 (C. Nelson, K. Toure), Prairie 7 (Lanz 3, Lindsley 2, Gelhar, Woodward). Total fouls -- Kamiakin 18, Prairie 14. Fouled out -- Prairie, Goecke. Rebounds -- Kamiakin 34 (Larson 9), Prairie 25 (Lindsley 5). Turnovers -- Kamiakin 18, Prairie 13.