Toledo Fends off Colfax in Final Seconds for State-Opening Victory
By Eric Trent
SPOKANE — It all came down to charity stripe. Colfax headed to the free throw line trailing by two with a tenth of a second left, needing both shots to tie the game and send it into overtime. A missed first shot forced the Bulldogs into a desperation heave in hopes of a putback, but Toledo senior Kal Schaplow pulled down the board to secure Toledo a 50-48 state-opening win on Wednesday in Spokane.
“We’ve been in a lot of loser-out games these past couple week,” Toledo coach Brian Layton said. “Every time you start to doubt them they just step up and do it again. We beat a really good team. I know Colfax is a 12 seed, but they’re good. They have tradition, they’re a state power.”
Fourth-seeded Toledo (23-4) will face familiar 2B Central League foe in third-seeded Wahkiakum (19-4) at 12:15 p.m. in the double-elimination portion of the bracket Thursday.
At first it looked like the Indians might get run out of the building, falling behind 19-5 as the Bulldogs plastered the Indians with a blend of drives to the paint and long-range bombs. The Bulldogs ran off a 12-0 run that spanned the first and second quarters to lead by 14 with 6:09 left before the break.
“We just had a few little jitters but we settled down,” Layton said. “We just slowly came back and it started with our defense.”
But Mossyrock countered with a run of its own, bolstered by a nine-point offensive outburst by Kal Schaplow, who drained a 3-pointer and knocked in six-straight points down low. Meanwhile, Marina Smith’s 3-pointer, Stacie Spahr’s putback and Emma Cline-Maier’s bucket helped the Indians tie it up at 21 a piece going into the break and close the half on a 16-2 run. Schaplow led with 12 points going into the locker room, finishing with a game-high 19.
The entire third quarter was both teams trading baskets in an offensive showcase with little defense. Colfax led by as many four before the Indians powered back, fueled by a six-point barrage by Stacie Spahr in the paint. Spahr tallied an absurd 12 points in the third quarter alone. She finished with 18 points and a game-high 13 boards. Sophomore Haileigh Holmes drained a 3-pointer at the third-quarter buzzer to tie it up at 41-41 going into the final frame.
“It was a game of runs and fortunately we came out on top,” Layton said. “We started attacking and getting the ball to Stacie and she did a good job.”
While the third quarter was an explosion of offense, the third was more of a defensive stalemate. Two quick buckets by both teams began a four-minute span of zero scoring by both teams. That ended with two free throws by Schaplow followed by an and-one with 1:50 to play that gave the Indians a 48-45 advantage. Six missed free throws by the Bulldogs in the final minute, along with Spahr’s clutch inside bucket with 42 seconds to play, finally secured the victory for the Indians.
Next up is Wahkiakum for the Indians, who are now guaranteed at least two more games in the state tournament.
“(Wahkiakum is obviously a great team and a lot of our girls are friends with their girls,” Layton said. “But on the court we’re competitors. We’re just happy to be playing tomorrow and we’ll see how it goes. One more win. We want one more win.”
INDIANS 50, BULLDOGS 48
Colfax 14 7 20 7 —48
Toledo 5 16 20 9 —50
Colfax (48) — Antoine 3, Sakamoto-Ho 3, Cai 14, York 12, Baerlocher 3, Berquist 2, Imler 8
FG: 15 of 40 —.375 FT: 13 of 22 —.591 Reb.25 (York 6)
Toledo (50) — Schaplow 19, Spahr 18, Madill 3, Smith 3, Holmes 3, Cline Maier 4
FG: 18 of 44 —.409 FT: 10 of 15 —.667 Reb. 32 (Spahr 13)