Saturday’s 2B Girls BB: Bannister Shoots Ilwaco Past Napavine to District Title
TIGHT FINISH: Fishermen Beat Shorthanded Napavine, 49-48, in District 4 Finals
By Aaron VanTuyl
The Tigers just couldn’t quite hang on.
Despite losing one of its two best players for all but 2 minutes of the second half, Napavine weathered the storm and took punch after punch from Ilwaco on Saturday in Chehalis.
After a wild final 20 seconds, though, the Fishermen cut down the nets with a 49-48 victory in the District 4 2B girls title game.
Napavine led by 10 points with 3 minutes, 46 seconds left, thanks to a 3-pointer from freshman Sydney Purvis that made it 43-33. With Melissa Lee — the Central 2B League’s co-MVP — fouled out, though, even that lead was tenuous.
And the Fishermen — ranked either No. 1 or 2 throughout the season, with Napavine, depending on the poll or mathematical equation or time of year — closed the gap quickly. Ebby McMullen hit a long jumper, and Bannister buried back-to-back 3s that trimmed the lead to 43-41 with 2:20 to go.
“I mean, when you’re playing the No. 1 team in the state and you don’t have one of your best players, and you’re able to have a 7-point lead with three minutes to go … That’s a pretty cool feeling to have, at that point in the game,” Napavine coach Jeremy Landram said. “We held it as long as we could.”
On the other end Mollie Olson, the other C2BL co-MVP, converted a 3-point play to put the lead back at 5.
Ilwaco wasn’t done shooting. The Fishermen hit 4 of 6 from long range in the final quarter; freshman Erika Glenn did the honors this time, and after a missed Tiger free throw Madeline Jacobson banked in a jumper that tied things up at 46-46.
The teams swapped travelling-violation turnovers, and Olson brought the ball upcourt and laid it in, through contact, for a 48-46 lead.
Ilwaco turned it over on its next possession, with 15 seconds left, but Napavine — despite calling two timeouts to avoid five-second violations — couldn’t safely get the ball inbounds. The Tigers lost control on their inbounds attempt, and Bannister’s 3-pointer gave Ilwaco its first lead of the fourth quarter.
Napavine had one last shot at a win, but a layup attempt at the final buzzer bounced out.
“We had the opportunity, and the ball didn’t bounce our way,” Landram said. “That’s the way that it goes at this time of the year. You’ve got to be able to make plays, and give them credit, they made more plays than us the last three minutes of the game.”
Olson finished with a game-high 18 points, 14 of which came in the second half, and had the ball in her hands on the vast majority of the Tigers’ possessions with Lee out of the game.
“Everybody saw what that girl’s about,” Landram said. “She’s as good as they come, and to do what she did — I know she’s sick about that last play, but we’re not at that point without her.”
Lee scored the Tigers’ first 10 points and 12 of their first 14. She picked up her third foul with 4:34 left in the second quarter and headed to the bench, and went back to the bench with her fourth foul three minutes into the third quarter. She checked back in with 2 seconds left in the third quarter, though, and hit a jumper at the buzzer that put Napavine up 33-31, finishing with 14 points and 10 rebounds in about 14 minutes of action.
Purvis scored all 8 of her points in the fourth quarter, and Rae Sisson came off the bench to hit a pair of key 3-pointers for the Tigers.
“You can’t ask for more from two freshmen that are scared in the moment than to do what they did,” Landram said.
Bannister led Ilwaco (22-1) with 15 points, and Mackenzie Kaech scored 14 with nine rebounds.
The Tigers (21-2) have already sealed a regional bid and, based on their RPI ranking, at least one game in the State 2B tournament in Spokane.
Vikings Finish Fifth to Make Regionals
ROCHESTER — Ava Nelson and Paige Moorcroft each scored 16 points here Saturday afternoon as Mossyrock edged Adna, 49-42, in the fifth-place game of the District 4 2B Girls Basketball Tournament.
The win means Mossyrock (18-7) advances to the regional round of the state playoffs next weekend.
Payton Aselton led Adna with 17 points, but Mossyrock pulled away in the third quarter and kept its lead the rest of the way.
The Vikings went on a 15-2 run through the middle of the third, with 6 points from Moorcroft, to take a 37-25 lead. Adna closed the quarter with 3-pointers from Tyas Pannette and Makaela Meister, and was able to cut the lead to 5 points on another 3 from Pannette with 1:32 left to play, but the Vikings broke the press and got a quick bucket from Nelson to go back ahead by 7.
Adna shot 16 of 56 (29 percent) from the field and 7 of 25 from behind the 3-point arc, while the Vikings were 19 of 53 from the floor without hitting a 3-pointer.
Stephanie Fried added 7 points for Mossyrock, and Moorcroft grabbed 11 rebounds. Nelson added eight boards.
Pannette finished with 14 points for Adna, and Abby Kruger grabbed 11 boards. Aselton added eight rebounds.
Mossyrock had won the teams’ regular-season meeting, 57-38, back on Jan. 3. The Vikings, back in the state playoffs for the first time since 2008, went 4-2 in the district tournament and will play a regional game Feb. 23 or 24 against an opponent to be announced Sunday.
Adna finishes the season with a 15-11 record, after finishing tied for fifth in the Central 2B League with Morton-White Pass.
The Pirates were without senior forward Sam Foster for the game, and will return everyone on the roster but Foster and fellow senior Kruger next season.
FISHERMEN 49, TIGERS 48
Napavine 10 9 14 15 —48
Ilwaco 9 8 14 18 —49
Napavine (48) — Sisson 6, Olson 18, Purvis 8, Snaza 2, Lee 14
FG: 18 of 52 —.346 FT: 8 of 12 —.667 Reb. 28 (Lee 10, Olson 8)
Ilwaco (49) — Bannister 14, Glenn 5, McMullen 9, Kaech 15, Jacobson 6
FG: 19 of 57 —.333 FT: 5 of 12 —.417 Reb. 30 (Kaech 9)
VIKINGS 49, PIRATES 42
Mossyrock 9 13 15 12 —49
Adna 7 13 11 11 —42
Mossyrock (49) — Fried 7, An. Nelson 2, Grose 5, Hadaller 2, Moorcroft 16, Edgar 1, Av. Nelson 16
FG: 19 of 53 —.188 FT: 11 of 21 —.524 Reb. 32 (Moorcroft 11)
Adna (42) — Eko, El. Sliva, Em. Sliva, Kruger 6, Pannette 14, Aselton 17, Meister 5
FG: 16 of 56 —.285 FT: 3 of 3 —1.000 Reb. 30 (Kruger 11)