Willapa Valley’s dream run in state tournament comes to a halt in semifinal loss

Willapa Valley’s amazing ride through the 2B State Tournament came to a screeching halt on Friday as the Vikings were trounced by Life Christian Academy 65-42 in a semifinal game at Veteran’s Memorial Arena in Spokane.

Willapa Valley (20-9 overall) struggled to score against the Eagles (23-3), falling behind early and seeing the game get away from them by halftime.

The Vikings, which had shot over 50% from the field in each of its first two state-tournament wins, shot just over half that against the reigning Pacific League champions.

Willapa Valley hit on just 6-of-27 field goals in the first half (22.2%) — starting the game 1-for-7 that led to a 13-2 deficit with 3:27 left to go in the first quarter.

Life Christian opened up a 21-6 lead at the end of the first quarter, bolstered by eight points by Omari Maulana over the final three minutes of the period.

The Vikings cut into LCA’s lead with a 6-2 run to open the second quarter, trimming the deficit to 23-12 on a Logan Walker layup at the 5:40 mark.

But LCA responded with a 7-0 run and doubled up on the Vikings at 31-15 when Bradley Swillie scored on a layup with 3:32 left in the first half.

Three straight layups by the Eagles’ Chae Haynes in the final two minutes of the quarter gave LCA a commanding 37-15 lead at halftime.

LCA increased its lead to 44-17 on a Marquis Trimble three with 5:18 left in the third quarter as the Eagles held a 56-23 lead by the end of the period.

With both benches emptied for the fourth quarter, Willapa Valley outscored LCA 19-9 in the frame to make it a 65-42 final, sending the Eagles to the title game and the Vikings to the 3rd/5th place contest.

Willapa Valley shot 14-for-51 (27.5%) in the game, including 4-for-16 (25%) from 3-point range.

The Vikings were led by Logan Walker’s eight points.

Tyler Adkins and Kyen Phansisam came off the bench to score second points apiece for a Vikings bench that had 26 of Willapa Valley’s 42 points.

LCA scored 18 points off 17 Vikings turnovers and the Eagles outrebounded Willapa Valley 54-30, including a 27-12 advantage on the offensive glass.

Swillie led all scorers with 16 points followed by Maulana, who scored 14 for the Eagles.

Willapa Valley will play No. 2 St. George’s, who lost 60-57 to No. 3 Brewster on Friday, in the tournament’s 3rd/5th place game at 1 p.m. on Saturday.

Life Christian 21 16 19 9 — 65

Willapa Valley 6 9 8 19 — 42

Willapa Valley — Walker (8 points, 3 rebounds); Adkins (7 pts., 6 reb.); Phansisam (7 pts., 3 reb.); Trey Amacher (5 pts.); Chad Flemetis (3 pts.); Cole Buchanan (3 pts.); Carter Pearson (3 pts.); Beau Buchanan (2 pts., 5 reb.); Gavin Hampton (2 pts.); Michael Naranjo (2 pts., 2 reb.)