Wednesday’s 2B Girls BB: Tigers Back on Track With Win Over Brewster
MOVING ON: Lee Scores 31 to Lead Napavine in Loser-Out Victory for Tourney Berth
By Aaron VanTuyl
SPOKANE — After a rough finish to the District 4 tournament and a setback in the regional round, the Tigers seem to be back to normal.
Or, at least, as normal as they can be this time of year.
Melissa Lee scored 31 points and Napavine survived the loser-out round of the State 2B Girls Basketball Tournament here Wednesday, beating Brewster 62-52 to move on to the double-elimination bracket.
As a reward, the Tigers face Wahkiakum — which they beat 71-30 in the regular season — in the first round of action on Thursday.
On Wednesday, though, they had to survive a bit of a scare in the form of a hot-handed Brewster squad. Senior guard Yvette Sanchez went 6 of 10 from long range and scored a team-high 20 points, keeping the Bears close throughout the game.
Napavine, though, poured in 27 first-quarter points, and Lee tallied 20 in the first half alone.
Lee had missed nearly the entire second half of a District 4 title game loss to Ilwaco, and guard Mollie Olson — who, with Lee, was voted the Central 2B League co-MVP — played through bronchitis in a regional loss to Colfax.
Olson scored 14 on 6 of 9 shooting in Wednesday’s win, and Tiger coach Jeremy Landram noted that things are, relatively, status quo.
“So to speak,” he said. “We’re what we are. There’s no next week, there’s nothing you can really do. We’re going to play the cards we’re dealt.”
Lee, who went 12 of 16 from the field, agreed.
“I think we’re just excited to be here,” she said. “No matter if we’re sick or not, we’re just trying to play our best while we’re here.”
Olson hauled in a three-quarter court pass from Lee with 50 seconds left in the game and converted an open layup to put Napavine up 62-51 with 50 seconds to play and essentially seal the game, though Brewster had the lead in single-digits for a good portion of the second half. The Bears went 19 of 39 from the field over the course of the game (49 percent) and never quite let Napavine pull away and extend its season by at least two more games.
“Those are part of our struggles,” Landram said. “We had a lot of mental-focus type plays that we shouldn’t have happen, but I know it was being in the moment of this being it, if it doesn’t happen.”
Becca Snaza added 10 points for Napavine, and Michaun Kelpman chipped in 10 for Brewster. The Bears finish the season with a 19-4 record.
Napavine (22-3) takes on Wahkiakum (21-4) at 12:15 p.m., back in the Spokane Arena.
Notes: Tri-Cities Prep, St. George’s and Life Christian all won loser-out games on Wednesday to move into the double-elimination bracket. Tri-Cities Prep beat White Swan, 77-63, behind 24 points and 12 rebounds from freshman point guard Talia Von Oelhoffen, and plays Colfax at 9 a.m. on Thursday; St. George’s beat Mabton 45-35, and faces Ilwaco at 10:30 a.m. on Thursday.
TIGERS 62, BEARS 52
Brewster 18 9 14 11 —52
Napavine 27 12 13 10 —62
Brewster (52) — Garcia 6, Miller 5, Kelpman 10, Nila 1, Sanchez 20, Martinez 2, Emigh 7
FG: 19 of 39 —.487 FT: 7 of 14 —.500 Reb. 15 (Miller 5)
Napavine (62) — Sisson 2, Olson 14, Purvis 3, Snaza 10, Evander 2, Lee 31
FG: 24 of 46 —.522 FT: 6 of 13 —.462 Reb. 23 (Lee 6)