Adna avenges previous loss at Rainier to take control of C2BL


RAINIER — Seven weeks ago, Rainier went into Adna and handed the Pirates their first home home loss in nearly six years.

The Pirates haven’t lost since, and on Friday, they went to Rainier and avenged their lone league loss with a 68-57 win, taking command atop the C2BL standings in the process.

Adna (18-1, 11-1 C2BL) has now won 15 games in a row, and the Pirates can clinch the league title with a win in their regular season finale against Onalaska on Wednesday.

“They deserve what they’ve gotten,” Adna coach Chris Bannish said. “I’m very proud of them.”

The latest win came in front of a wealth of Adna fans that made the trip to Rainier, at times turning the home gym into a neutral environment.

“I’m really proud of the whole buy-in of our community,” Bannish said. “The culture we have established here at Adna, both boys and girls, as far as community and basketball, is really fun to be a part of.”

Karsyn Freeman, Danika Hallom, and Gaby Guard took control of the game early, combining for 26 of Adna’s 29 first-half points.

After Hallom left the game following a collision with Rainier’s Bryn Beckman in the third quarter, Freeman took over, scoring 22 points in the second half to will the Pirates to victory. 

With her 31 points on the night, Freeman tied Taylor Hoke’s 13-year-old school record with 463 points on the season.

“She just has another gear,” Bannish said. “She’s not first, second, then nothing. She’s got first, second, third, then she can get to fourth and fifth really quickly.”

Guard added seven points in the fourth, including her fourth 3-pointer of the night.

“She’s fearless,” Bannish said. “If she gets some space, she knocks them down.”

Bannish also commended Guard for her flexibility once Hallom went out, saying she played two positions throughout the rest of the game that she practices “about 25 percent of the time.”

Sophomore Ava Humphrey also saw the floor more, and while she didn’t score, she made several key plays that helped keep the Pirates on top late.

After the Mountaineers (17-2, 9-2 C2BL) scored five points in 20 seconds to trim the Adna lead to five, Humphrey was able to keep the next Pirate possession alive by grabbing an offensive rebound. Shortly after, Freeman connected on a 3-pointer to push the lead back to eight with two and a half to play.

That was one of Humphrey’s three offensive rebounds, and she also came away with three steals on the defensive end.

“She saved us six possessions,” Bannish said. “Without her effort, I’m not sure we come away with a win.”

On the other side, Askey drained seven threes and scored 33 points to help keep the Mountaineers in the game. No other Mountaineer scored more than seven.

Rainier coach Brandon Eygabraod was proud of the way his team battled, but also noted that Adna made the plays they needed to to win.

“It’s one we really wanted,” Eygabroad said. “They came ready to play and made some big shots. They were a little crisper and a little cleaner … That’s something we gotta get back to practice and work on.”

At 9-2 in C2BL play, the Mountaineers are third in the league standings, putting them on the outside looking in when it comes to a first-round bye at the upcoming district tournament.

The Pirates will wrap up their regular season with a home tilt against Montesano on Monday before heading to Onalaska on Wednesday, while the Mountaineers will head to White Pass to face MWP on Tuesday before traveling to Kalama on Wednesday.