Willapa Valley advances with first-round victory over Lake Quinault

Vikings have 23 steals in 59-19 win in 1B District 4 Girls Basketball Tournament

The name of the game in playoff basketball is survive and advance.

Willapa Valley did that and then some in dispatching Lake Quinault 59-19 in the first round of the 1B District 4 Girls Basketball Tournament on Monday in Menl0.

The Vikings (11-11 overall) jumped out to a 16-point lead after the first quarter and never looked back against the young Elks (0-18), which feature just one senior on a team filled with freshman and eighth-graders.

“We came out against a very young team and did what we needed to secure the win,” Valley head coach Dawn Keeton said. “We didn’t shoot our best, but we were able to work on things we need to for further district play.”

Thanks to Valley’s defense creating 23 steals in the game, the Vikings took 84 shots as a team, hitting 25 (30%).

Most of Willapa Valley’s points came from inside the arc, hitting 24-of-73 shots from 2-point range (33%).

Valley also took care of the ball with just five turnovers on the evening.

Senior forward Hadlee Russell and sophomore guard Kylee Fluke led Valley with 12 points apiece.

Vikings sophomore Lauren Matlock had eight points and led Valley with seven steals.

Fluke and junior forward Addison Merkel had five steals apiece for Willapa Valley.

“Kylee Fluke played great on defense and was one of our top scorers too,” Coach Keeton said. “She played a good game.”

Lake Quinault was led by eighth-grader Dezbra Sansom with eight points.

With the victory, Valley advances to face league-rival Columbia Adventist Academy in a second-round elimination game at 6 p.m. on Wednesday at Willapa Valley High School.

Valley swept both 1B Columbia Valley League games over the Kodiaks (5-13) this season, winning by an average of 29.5 points per game.

Lake Quinault 3 6 3 7 – 19

Willapa Valley 19 21 12 7 – 59

Scoring: Lake Quinault – D. Sansom 8. Willapa Valley – Fluke 12, Russell 12, Keeton 9, Matlock 8, Merkel 6, Channell 5, Wilson 4, Hurley 2, Clerc 1.

Other games

1B District 4 Tournament first round

Oakville 36, WA School for the Deaf 20

Naselle 66, Three Rivers Christian 24

Columbia Adventist Academy 61, Wishkah Valley 34