Down by as much as eight points in the third quarter, Montesano rallied to keep its season alive and earn a 43-29 victory over King’s Way Christian in a 1A District 4 girls basketball consolation game Wednesday at Rochester High School.
With the game tied at 19 with 5:30 left in the third quarter, King’s Way Christian (11-10 overall) went on an 8-0 run, taking a 27-19 lead on Abby Cummins’ 3-pointer with 2:41 left in the frame.
But Monte (14-9) responded with a run of its own, scoring nine straight points to close out the quarter and take a 28-27 lead into the fourth.
The final period was all Bulldogs as Monte’s defense allowed just two points over the final eight minutes and secured the victory with a pair of Vanna Prom free throws to make it a 38-27 game with just under four minutes left.
Zoe Hutchings led Monte with 13 points, nine of those coming in the second half.
Paige Lisherness scored seven points for Monte while Prom added seven for the Bulldogs, who were without their second-leading scorer, freshman McKynnlie Dalan, who is unavailable with a wrist injury.
“I think the big key was on the defensive end,” Montesano head coach Mark Mansfield said. “We talked about how we needed to pressure them and speed them up a little bit if we could. … Halfway through that third quarter, we really put pressure out front and were able to get people rotating on the backside and getting some steals.”
Mansfield said the Bulldogs have been keenly focused on the game in front of them in playing through the consolation bracket.
“We talked coming in that we were only worried about tonight,” Mansfield said. “It was either win or go home and it’s the same thing Friday. We’re never going to be perfect, but we have to give our best effort for all 32 minutes. … Look what happens when we pick up our defensive effort.”
Montesano takes on La Center, which lost Wednesday’s district championship game to Elma, in a winner-to-regionals elimination game on at 6 p.m. on Friday at WF West High School.
BOYS PREP BASKETBALL
Toutle Lake 50, Willapa Valley 40
Facing one of the better defensive teams in the 2B classification, Willapa Valley struggled to put up good shots in a 50-40 loss to Toutle Lake in a 2B District 4 boys basketball semifinal on Wednesday at Kelso High School.
Toutle Lake (19-3) got some breathing room in the third quarter of a defensive struggle that saw Willapa Valley (17-6) trail 24-19 at the half.
“Word on street was they were best defensive team in Central League,” Willapa Valley head coach Jay Pearson said. ” They have very quick hands and were a solid defense group. They made us work for every shot. There’s a reason they’re ranked third in the state.”
The Vikings had cut the deficit to seven in the fourth quarter, but a missed three turned into a three by Jackson Cox, who had 16 points in the game.
“It came down to them making more big shots and big plays than we did,” Pearson said. “They made it hard for anyone to get a shot up. Defensively I was happy, but I need to find a way for us to get more shots. … But we got some good idea.”
Logan Walker had a game-best 19 points and seven rebounds for Willapa Valley.
Chad Flemetis scored eight points while Carter Pearson added seven points for the Vikings.
Willapa Valley faces Onalaska in a consolation bracket game at 6 p.m. on Friday at Rochester High School.