Tenino earns state bid with win over Elma


After controlling almost the entirety of the first three quarters of the game, the Tenino Beavers felt their 1A District 4 semifinal against Elma slipping away.

The Beavers entered the fourth quarter with a nine-point lead, but a 9-0 Eagles run to start the final frame gave Elma all the momentum and tied the game.

During the ensuing timeout, Tenino coach Ryan Robertson had a simple message for his team: “This is what it’s all about.”

The Beavers came out of the timeout reenergized, and they capped off a 63-52 win to clinch their first state tournament appearance since 2007.

“I was so proud of them for overcoming adversity,” Tenino coach Ryan Robertson said. “That just shows toughness, and that’s what makes me most proud.”

Balance helped Tenino (16-5, 7-1 1A Evergreen) top an Elma defense that honed in on Evergreen MVP Noah Schow, not just in the fourth quarter, but over the course of the entire game.

Four Beavers finished in double-figures, and a fifth, Preston Snider, added nine.

“All these other guys stepped up,” Robertson said.”

Robertson commended several players, including Will Feltus, who led the team with 15 points while adding six rebounds and coming away with five steals.

“His aggression is changing things for us,” Robertson said. “He’s really transforming our team with the way he’s playing right now.”

Austin Gonia recorded another double-double with 14 points and 14 rebounds, as did Jack Burkhardt, who grabbed 12 rebounds and scored 10 points Noah Schow added 11 points and four rebounds.

What made the state-clinching win extra special for Robertson and the Beavers was that it came in front of their home crowd, one that made their presence felt throughout the game.

“The gym was so electric,” Robertson said. “What it felt like for us … I’m just so proud of this town and how they got behind this team.”

Tenino is off until next Saturday, Feb. 17, when they will take on Seton Catholic in Hoquiam for the district championship.