By Jordan Nailon
MOSSYROCK — Wahkiakum arrived in Lewis County on Tuesday afternoon as part of a four-team tie for top billing in the Central 2B League girls hoops scene. By the end of the night the Mules had done their part to make it a three-team race to the top as they dispatched Mossyrock 62-57, in a game that rarely felt as close as the final score would indicate.
Wahkiakum jumped out to an early lead and never looked back as they spun a 19-11 lead after one quarter into a 54-44 lead at the end of the third quarter. The Mules used a half-court trap and an inside-out offense with plenty of touches for Jansi Merz to keep the momentum from every truly shifting to the home team.
Merz finished the contest with a double-double that included a team-high 17 points and a game-high 13 rebounds. Wahkiakum was able to win the rebounding battle in decisive fashion with an advantage of 40-23.
“Merz just out-rebounded us, and then they just have a bench," Mossyrock coach Autumn Moorcroft said. “Every sub they put in was just firing away at us. They’re so strong all the way through.”
Wahkiakum point guard Paige Mace added 9 points in the win while Miya Kerstetter, Emerald Niemela, Alex Watkins and Megan Leitz chipped in 8 points apiece.
Moorcroft credited freshman Hailey Brooks with slowing down Mace and making the Mules work to get their offense going after being tasked with face-guarding Wahkiakum’s floor general the length of the floor all night.
“Hailey Brooks is just my lockdown defender. She’s not afraid to get into anybody, regardless of being a freshman,” Moorcroft said. “I just love her energy on the defensive end, and that’s why she guards the other team’s best player.”
Brooks also notched 10 points for the Vikings. Caelyn Marshall led Mossyrock with 18 points while Andee Nelson scored 15 points and snagged a team-high 9 rebounds. Payton Torrey added 14 points and four steals in the loss.
Moorcroft was impressed with the way Marshall stepped up on offense while the Mules made sure to make life difficult for Nelson in the post.
“Throughout the season she’s been the motor for getting steals and layins, but tonight she was our spark plug coming off the bench to get us going,” Moorcroft said.
The loss drops Mossyrock into a two-way tie for fifth place with Rainier as they prepare for the home stretch of their league schedule.
“We’re just focusing one game at a time. The top of the league is super competitive this year and that’s why you have to stay focused. You can’t look into next week or into the playoffs. You’ve got to focus on tomorrow,” Moorcroft said.
Mossyrock (15-2, 5-2 league) will play at Napavine on Thursday.
Addison Hall Drops 35 on Kalama
Winlock — Addison Hall blew up for 35 points and 20 rebounds and Winlock downed Kalama 47-29 in a Central 2B League match here Tuesday.
Though not a career-night from Hall, who dropped 37 on Toutle Lake, she did have a career-first-half, going off for 20 points and 15 rebounds as the Cardinals won their third straight.
“She was just in rhythm,” Winlock coach Tori Nelson said. “She was very efficient and hit her free throws. Her teammates got her the ball in [places] where she could be successful.”
Her 35 points came off just 19 shots, she hit 6 of 7 free throws and completed six and-1s.
Winlock’s five starters played 30 and a half minutes, and only four Cardinals got on the scoring sheet. Angela Gil-Munoz had six points, Azhia Camps had four and Karlie Jones two.
Nelson credited Gil-Munoz’ defensive effort for locking down Kalama’s Gracie Stemkoski, who finished with a team-high 11 points.
“Azhia made her work,” Nelson said.
Chloe Larsen added six points for the Chinooks, while Lily Given and Sophie Given each had three. The Chinooks fell to 3-13, 1-7 and have now lost seven in a row. They travel to Longview Wednesday to take on Class 2A Mark Morris.
Winlock improved to 7-10, 2-5 and hosts Onalaska on Thursday. With three regular season games to go, the Cardinals need at least one more win to secure a district playoff spot, Nelson said.
Ducks Lash Loggers
ONALASKA — Jordyn Grabenhorst and Molly Donald combined for 33 points and Toutle Lake won its second straight in a 49-29 Central 2B League road victory over Onalaska Tuesday.
Grabenhorst hit for a game-high 17 points and Donald was right behind her with 16 as the Ducks were potent from long range, draining 10 of 16 3s at an absurd 63 percent clip. They shot better from beyond the arc than they did in front of it, hitting 40 percent of their field goals on the night.
“[Toutle Lake] came to play,” Onalaska coach Dracy McCoy said.
Onalaska was led offensively by Carmen Cleveland-Barrera, who scored a team-high 13 points and grabbed five rebounds. Alex Cleveland-Barrera chipped in six points, four rebounds, three assists and a steal. Alex, in her first game back from injury, was credited with locking down McDonald, holding her to zero points in the second half after she knocked 16 in the first half.
“We had a good inside game with Carmen and Alex,” McCoy said.
Still, it was a frustrating loss for Onalaska coach Dracy McCoy and her Loggers, who lost their second straight and shot just 21 percent on the night. They hit just one of 1 of 17 3-pointers at a 6 percent clip.
Toutle Lake (6-11, 3-5) has now won two in a row after dropping seven straight. The Ducks take on Rainier at home at 7 p.m. on Thursday.
Onalaska (8-9. 2-6) will travel to Winlock for a 7 p.m. match on Thursday.
Indians Trample Timberwolves
TOLEDO — The Indians jumped out to a 17-6 lead in the first quarter and kept the pedal to the floor in a 65-32 Central 2B League victory over Morton-White Pass here Tuesday night.
Four Indians registered double-digit scoring, led by Kal Schaplow’s game-high 15 points. Marina Smith added 13, Stacie Parr 11 and Grace Tauscher 10 in the victory.
The Indians scored in double-digits as a team in every quarter while holding the T-Wolves to single-digit scoring in all but the fourth quarter.
Morton-White Pass was balanced offensively in scoring, with Natalia Armstrong leading the way with seven points. McKenzee Mays had six points, while Chloe Kelly and Shaylee Peters each chipped in five. Peters had a team-high six rebounds.
“They’re a good, strong team,” Timberwolves coach Curt Atkinson said. “We battled as hard as we could.”
Morton-White Pass falls to 2-15, 1-6 and travels to play Adna at 7 p.m. on Thursday. Toledo improves to 15-2, 6-1 and travels to Wahkiakum at 7 p.m. Thursday.
NWC Tops Pe Ell on Last-Second OT Free Throw
PE ELL — Northwest Christian hit a free throw with a fraction of a second left in the overtime period here Tuesday night to top Pe Ell, 40-39, in Pacific 2B League girls hoops action.
Annika Mason led Pe Ell with 13 points, but a foul call against the Trojans with 0.2 seconds left on the clock put the Navigators on the foul line in a double-bonus situation. With the game tied at 39-39, NWC’s one foul shot was enough for the win.
“The girls fought hard and they played hard,” Pe Ell coach Randy Driver said, adding that his team’s 32 turnovers hurt its cause. “It’s our third game in a row with over 30 turnovers. We just have to take better care of the ball, and we’re going to work on that very hard in practice.”
Mason, he added played well, adding eight rebounds, five assists and three steals to her 13 points.
Charlie Carper chipped in 10 points with 16 rebounds, 10 of which came on the offensive end.
Whitney Stepp led Northwest Christian with 10 points.
Pe Ell (7-10, 7-8 league) plays at South Bend on Friday.
Pirates Extend Win Streak to 7
Adna (15-2, 6-1) won its seventh-consecutive game and is in a three-way tie for first place in the league with Toledo (15-2, 6-1) and Wahkiakum (13-3, 6-1).
Napavine (6-10, 3-4) lost its third straight and was led offensively by Rae Sisson’s seven points. Natayla Marcial grabbed a team-high nine boards for the Tigers.
The Pirates shot 43 percent from the field and held the Tigers to just 19 percent shooting, including single-digit scoring in every quarter and zero points in the second quarter.
Napavine hosts Mossyrock on Thursday. Adna hosts Morton-White Pass on Thursday.