Adna’s comeback falls just short against top-seeded Columbia


SPOKANE — It seemed like Columbia was ready to run away with it.

With six minutes to play in the third quarter of the 2B quarterfinals, the top-seeded Coyotes held a 21-point lead over Adna, which had scored just 26 points over the first 18 minutes of the game.

The Pirates didn’t let the game turn into a blowout, however. Instead, for the second straight night, they found their footing offensively, and they slowly chipped away and got back within striking distance.

“I am so proud of the toughness they showed after being challenged at halftime,” Adna coach Luke Salme said. “That’s a team that can run away from you and make it a 40-point game in a hurry, and instead, we had more than a fighting chance.”

The Pirates got within four late in the fourth, but a Quincy Scott 3-pointer with a minute remaining was the dagger, and Columbia held on for a 74-68 win to remain unbeaten and advance to the semifinals.

Over the final 14 minutes, the Pirates outscored the Coyotes 42-27. In the second half, they turned the ball over just twice, and they came down with 10 offensive rebounds.

It ultimately wasn’t enough, as it was the polar opposite in the first half. The Pirates came down with just two offensive rebounds, turned the ball over seven times, and shot just 35.7 percent from the floor in the first two frames.

“I feel like we were the aggressors in the second half,” Salme said. “That’s what I think was missing in the first half … We were on our heels a little bit.”

The comeback began midway through the third, when Braeden and Trevin Salme took turns draining six consecutive threes, including a four-point play from Trevin.

“That’s what happens when you spend a lot of time in the gym,” Luke Salme said. “They’re not afraid to take those shots, and they shoot them with confidence. They put us right back where we were within striking distance.”

The Coyotes kept responding with big buckets of their own, however, including three separate three-point plays that followed the Salme shots, all coming in a three minute span in the third.

The Adna defense finally started to get the stops it needed in the fourth, but the Pirates couldn’t hold the Coyotes down long enough, and Scott’s 3-pointer iced it.

Scott was the tone-setter for Columbia all night, as he scored 27 points on 10 of 19 shooting, hauled in 11 rebounds, tallied four assists, and drew eight fouls. Adna also struggled to slow down Tristan Frimodt, who scored 18, grabbed seven rebounds, and drew six more fouls.

Of the 19 fouls Adna was called for, 14 were against those two.

The Coyotes were also nearly flawless from the free-throw line prior to the final minute, hitting 11 of 12 shots from the charity stripe.

Braeden Salme led the Pirates with 24 points and six assists, while Trevin Salme and Jens Neilson added 16 points each. Neilson grabbed nine rebounds, one behind Lane Johnson, who led the team with 10.

While the Pirates are out of contention for a state championship, they can still bring home a trophy with a win against Toutle Lake on Friday. A win in that game would put them in the 4th/6th game on Saturday.

Adna and Toutle Lake met one time in the regular season, and the Ducks dominated in a 70-45 win on their home floor.

“We’re gonna go play a league opponent tomorrow that drilled us two months ago,” Salme said. “We can’t freaking wait to go play them at 12:15 and hopefully have the chance to go play for a trophy on Saturday.”