2B Girls Basketball: Toledo Falls One Game Short of Trophy
By Eric Trent
SPOKANE — Toledo’s run had to come to an end sometime, unfortunately it was at least one game short of what they had hoped for.
Toledo fell one game shy of a trophy after dropping a 44-39 decision to Tri-Cities Prep in the consolation bracket of the 2B state girls basketball tournament Friday in Spokane.
The Indians end their season at 23-6 and were searching for their first state trophy since placing eighth in the Class 1A tournament in 2009. A few years ago, the Indians top-eight finish would have resulted in a trophy.
“Their goal was to get here, their goal was to get as far as we could,” Toledo coach Brian Layton said. “We were right there in every game. A few possessions here and there and we’re playing in the semis. We knew it was going to come to an end sometime, we just hoped it was one more day. I’m so proud of them. They’re a great group of girls. I wouldn’t trade them for the world.”
Toledo ended the regular season as the Central 2B League champions and finished third at the district tournament to earn a No. 4 seed at the state tourney. The Indians lost a narrow 44-42 regional match against Pacific 2B champion Ilwaco last weekend, then took down Colfax 50-48 in the state opener Wednesday. A 55-58 loss to Wahkiakum in the quarterfinals Thursday pitted them against Tri-Cities Prep Friday.
Against the Jaguars, the Indians dug themselves a hole early as TCP exploded out to an 11-2 lead early in the first, but Toledo swung back. Powered by Kal Schaplow’s banked-in runner, Marina Smith’s 3-pointer and Stacie Spahr’s fadeaway jumper under the basket, the Indians climbed back in it with a 7-0 run to pull within two.
Haileigh Holmes tied it up for Toledo with a jumper at the top of the key midway through the second, and Gracie Madill’s baseline 3-pointer gave the Indians their first lead of the day at 16-15 with 3:25 left before the break.
The Jaguars wouldn’t let up, however, breaking off an 8-2 run to end the half, fueled by back-to-back 3-pointers, to take a 23-18 advantage into the locker room.
The Indians caught fire in a crucial third quarter, busting off a 13-0 run that started with Spahr’s pair of free throws and ended with another Spahr free throw to go up 33-27 on the Jaguars. Schaplow knocked in seven points during that stretch to lead the Indians, and it wasn’t until nearly a minute into the fourth until the Jaguars broke the run with a basket of their own.
TCP retook the lead on a 7-0 run with a jumper, two free throws and a 3-pointer to go up 39-35 with 2:48 to play as Toledo’s offense went stagnant. The Indians went scoreless for nearly three minutes until Schaplow dropped in another one of her patented runners to pull the Indians within two at 39-37 with 2:22 to go.
But the Jaguars held strong, hitting a heavily-contested layup with 1:10 on the clock then stealing Toledo’s outlet pass near midcourt and knocking in a wide-open layup to lead 43-37 with a minute to play. The Indians would get no closer. TCP scored five straight points to close out the victory and eliminate Toledo, 44-39. The Indians were held to just six points in the fourth quarter while surrendering 17 to TCP.
“We just didn’t convert,” Layton said. “If we convert those good looks we extend the lead. Then we gave up an offensive rebound and they hit a couple 3s. Literally a couple possessions here and there and it’s different.”
Toledo’s lone senior, Schaplow, the 2BCL MVP, ended her decorated career with a team-high 13 points and six rebounds.
“She put in tons of time and this was her goal to get here and she did,” Layton said. “It’s bittersweet.”
Layton said he’s hopeful for the future as the Indians bring back 11 varsity players and four starters. Junior Stacie Spahr finished with a double-double, tacking on 13 points and pulling down a game-high 13 rebounds Friday. Marina Smith, Gracie Madill and Haileigh Holmes all scored against TCP, as well.
“Hopefully this snowballs into next year,” Layton said. “The younger girls are hungry, they put in the time and they want to be back here. I told them it’s going to hurt for a few days, but you’ve got to keep your heads up and enjoy these last few moments together as a team.”
JAGUARS 44, INDIANS 39
Toledo 9 9 15 6 —39
Tri-Cities Prep 13 10 4 17 —44
Toledo (39) — Schaplow 13, Spahr 13, Madill 4, Holmes 2, Smith 7
FG: 15 of 43 —.349 FT: 6 of 8 —.750 Reb. 32 (Spahr 8)
Tri-Cities Prep (44) — Brandner 6, Chang 13, Dickson 4, Boothe 2, Martinez 14, Monteon 3, Long 2
FG: 18 of 46 —.391 FT: 3 of 6 —.500 Reb. 26 (Chang 8)