Mossyrock’s state run ends with blowout loss to Wilbur-Creston-Keller


SPOKANE — After losing four starters from last season’s state runner-up team and a 5-6 start to this season, few expected Mossyrock to make a run to the 2B state tournament. The No. 10 Vikings rallied to win 12 straight heading into Spokane, but their streak was snapped with a 57-39 loss to No. 7 Wilbur-Creston-Keller on Feb. 28 in the Round of 12.

“A lot of people probably didn’t expect us to be back over here. That is just a testament to how hard these guys are willing to work,” Mossyrock head coach Autumn Moorcroft said after the loss.

The Vikings showed their grit early, scrapping for loose balls and fighting for every rebound in a narrow first quarter in which the Wildcats led, 11-10. However, the second quarter was as poor of a quarter as the Vikes endured all season, as the Wildcats outscored them, 19-2. Mossyrock’s poor decision-making and transition defense were the biggest reasons for the forgettable quarter, Moorcroft said.

“Offensively, we really struggled. We made bad decisions with the ball and then we didn’t get back on defense. I think 10 of their points in that quarter were from them leaking out on open lanes,” she added.

Mossyrock trailed 30-12 at halftime and shot just 18.5% from the field in the first half. The Vikings could not claw back from the large deficit, which grew to as large as 23 in the third. 

Each team scored 27 points in the second half, but the first-half struggles were too much to overcome for Mossyrock. Moorcroft was proud of how her team made the necessary adjustments, albeit in a 57-39 loss. 

“At this stage, nerves kind of get to you. But they made those adjustments in the second half, and I’m really proud of them for that,” she said.

With only two seniors moving on, Mossyrock returns a young team with postseason experience that includes a 1B District 4 title as the school moves up to the Central 2B League next season.

“I’m looking forward to seeing how much time they’re willing to put in. It’s really promising, and as long as they keep putting in that time, I think we’ll continue to be one of the top teams in our league,” Moorcroft said.