Willapa Valley shook off the rust of a long break to rout Columbia Adventist Academy 64-32 in a 1B District 4 semifinal matchup on Wednesday at Willapa Valley High School.
Entering the game after a 12-day layoff, the Vikings (17-5 overall) showed signs of rust in the first half, leading 19-14 with six minutes left in the second quarter.
After a timeout, the wind grabbed the Vikings’ sails.
Willapa Valley took off on a 9-2 run capped by a three from senior guard Riley Pearson as the Vikings took a 28-16 lead with three minutes left in the first half.
“We wanted to push the ball harder because we were complacent walking the ball up the court. Get into game speed,” Willapa Valley head coach Jay Pearson said of the timeout huddle. “When you wait 12 days, that has advantages — getting a bye into the semis — but there is also a cost. That first quarter, you could tell CAA was playing at game speed and we were at practice speed.”
The Kodiaks (14-8) never got closer as Valley closed out the half with a renewed energy not evident in the first 11 minutes of play. Willapa Valley converted 5 of 8 free throws over the final 2:30.
The Vikings took a 37-21 lead after senior forward Wil Clements scored off an offensive rebound with two seconds left in the second quarter.
In the third quarter, Willapa Valley senior guard Kolten Fluke helped to quickly dash any Kodiak hopes of a comeback. The Vikings 6-foot guard scored on two short jump shots to open the period and — after a Clements bucket off an offensive board — buried a three for a 50-28 lead.
One play later, Pearson splashed a corner three off a Fluke inbound pass as Willapa Valley extended its advantage to 53-28 with 2:06 left in the third.
Valley sophomore Nathan Fluke scored and was fouled on a pump fake under the basket, making the shot and hitting the subsequent free throw at the 1:42 mark to cap Willapa Valley’s 20-9 quarter.
Leading 56-30 entering the fourth, the Vikings removed all starters with just under five minutes left in the game, letting the bench play out the 64-32 victory.
Pearson led the Vikings with 21 points while Clements (16 points, 5 rebounds) and Kolten Fluke (13 points, 4 rebounds, 3 assists, 3 steals) also scored in double figures for Willapa Valley.
Derek Fluke scored eight points and led Willapa Valley with 11 rebounds and five assists.
The Vikings shot 24 of 69 from the field (35%), including 6 of 28 from beyond the arc (21%) and made 10 of 13 free throws (77%) as a team.
Willapa Valley turned the ball over eight times while the defense recorded 17 steals and held the Kodiaks to 38% from the field on 14-of-37 shooting.
“I think the key was getting the rust off and finally playing,” Coach Pearson said, adding he made an offer to his team to help provide a little extra motivation. “Our challenge to (the defense) was to keep them under 40, if we do that I told them, ‘I’ll buy you pizza and Mountain Dew.’ And guess what? They held them under 40, so it was a costly win for the coach.”
With the win, the Vikings advance to the 1B District 4 championship game for the third consecutive season and defended their district title against Oakville at 5 p.m. Friday in Montesano, after the press time for The Daily World.
Columbia Adventist 12 9 9 2 — 32
Willapa Valley 17 19 20 8 – 64
Scoring: WV – Pearson 21, Clements 16, K. Fluke 8, N. Fluke 6. CAA – Delaney 11, C. Payne 7, Carlton 6, M. Payne 5, Pierce 3.
Raymond 55, Rainier 49
The name of the game in the elimination round is “survive and advance.”
For the second-straight game, the Raymond Seagulls did just that, beating Rainier 55-49 in a 2B District 4 elimination game on Wednesday at Castle Rock High School.
The Gulls (11-11) trailed early on after a slow start but regained the lead by outscoring the Mountaineers (13-10) 14-7 in the second quarter to take a 22-16 lead at the half.
Raymond led by as much as 11 points in the third quarter before Rainier rallied to trim the Gulls lead to 35-33 entering the fourth.
Gulls senior guards Morgan Anderson and Jarrod Gunderson scored 10 and eight points in the fourth quarter, respectively, and Raymond converted 9 of 10 free throws in the frame to secure the victory and end Rainier’s season.
Anderson (16 points, 6 rebounds, 4 assists), Gunderson (13 points, 2 steals), junior center Talan Yearout (10 points, 11 rebounds, block) and senior guard Skyler Hutson (10 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists, 2 blocks) each scored in double figures for Raymond.
“It wasn’t our prettiest game of the year, but we got the job done,” Raymond head coach Mike Tully said. “These guys have shown a lot of heart all season long and their confidence has really grown these past few games. We know it isn’t going to be easy, but we’re ready for the challenge.”
Raymond advances to the consolation quarterfinals with the win and faced Wahkiakum in an elimination game scheduled for 5:30 p.m. Friday at W.F. West High School.
Rainier 9 7 17 16 – 49
Raymond 8 14 13 20 – 55
Scoring: Rainier – n/a. Raymond – Anderson 16, Gunderson 13, Quintana 4, Yearout 10, Hutson 10, Snodgrass 2.
GIRLS PREP BASKETBALL
Hoquiam 60, Eatonville 36
Hoquiam has earned a chance to play for a state regional-round berth after defeating Eatonville 60-36 in a 1A District 4 elimination game on Wednesday in Montesano.
The Grizzlies (13-9) got off to a good start, taking a 17-8 lead after one quarter as four different players scored in the frame.
Hoquiam furthered its advantage by outscoring Eatonville (14-8) 15-6 in the second quarter led by seniors Graci Bonney-Spradlin and Chloe Kennedy, who combined to go 9 for 12 from the free-throw line in the period.
The Grizzlies offense stalled in the third quarter, but sophomore guard Nadine Stewart came off the bench to score five points in the period. The Grizzlies were able to keep Eatonville at bay, getting six points from Kennedy while sophomore guard Ellie Graham and senior forward Ashlinn Cady combined to go 5 for 6 from the charity stripe in the final quarter, preserving the 60-36 victory.
“What a great win tonight for this team. Once again everyone contributed who got on the floor tonight,” Hoquiam head coach Chad Allan said. “So proud of this team for sticking together and believing in themselves. Started off with great, balanced scoring in the first quarter and everyone has bought into doing what is best for the team.”
Kennedy led Hoquiam with 23 points and 13 rebounds with Bonney-Spradlin cracking double figures with 16 points to go along with six assists and three steals.
Cady (9 points, 13 rebounds, 3 steals) and senior guard Ella Folkers (5 points, 3 rebounds, 3 assists) were also cited by Allan as having a significant impact for the Grizzlies.
With the victory, Hoquiam advances to the consolation final, where it will face Columbia-White Salmon in a winner-to-state-loser-out game at 5:30 p.m. Friday at Castle Rock High School.
Eatonville 8 6 12 10 – 36
Hoquiam 17 15 12 15 – 60
Scoring: Eatonville – Anderson 9, Stammen 8, Meyer 7, Kralik 5, Hall 4, Blocker 2, Gendreau 1. Hoquiam – Kennedy 23, Bonney-Spradlin 16, Cady 9, Folkers 5, Stewart 5, Graham 2.