By Tyler Hergert
Kelso High School is the host site for the 2B District 4 Semifinals as the girls hit the hardwood floor on Tuesday night. Four C2BL teams made the semifinals and all four teams played each other during the season. #7 Rainier and #3 Napavine was the first game of the evening, a battle between two schools ranked in the AP Top Ten while #4 Adna would take on Toutle Lake later in the evening. Two schools would punch their ticket to State and the District 4 Championship Game on Saturday with a win, while the other two will head to W.F. West on Thursday for an elimination game with a loss.
Rainier Mountaineers vs Napavine Tigers
This game would come down to the final horn as both teams came out early trading baskets but Rainier would take a commanding 15-8 lead after the first quarter. The tempo would pick up in the second quarter and Rainier would have Bryn Beckman hit four 3’s in the first half to give her 12 points at the half, while her sophomore counterpart Angelica Askey would chip in with 11 first-half points. The first time these two teams met, Rainier had 30 points the entire game. Last night, Rainier had 31 points at halftime as the Mountaineers would have a 31-24 lead at the half. Rainier scored the first five points to give them a 36-24 lead early in the 3rd quarter but Napavine stampeded back, responding with a 21-4 run to close the third quarter, led by freshman Hayden Kaut who had 10 of her 24 points in the third to take a 45-40 lead heading into the final stanza. With a trip to State up for grabs, the defenses turned up the pressure once again in the final minutes. With just under a minute to go, Askey took the inbounds for Rainier, drove down the court, and found Brooklynn Swenson open on the left wing for a three which brought Napavine’s down to one at 53-52. After a Napavine turnover and a Rainier missed basket and foul, Napavine had a 1-and-1 situation at the free throw line but couldn’t convert, however, the rebound went out of bounds off Rainier. Napavine would inbound and Askey read their second pass perfectly and stole the ball, drove into the front court, and drew a foul to head to the free throw line for two free throws. Askey’s free throws wouldn’t fall and Rainier quickly fouled Napavine to send them back to the free-throw line for another 1-and-1 opportunity. Napavine missed the front end once again and Rainier raced into the front court where Askey drew a foul on the floor with 1.4 seconds left, giving Rainier one last chance at getting the win. Rainier’s inbounds pass would get deflected away as time ran out on the Mountaineers and Napavine would clinch a spot in State.
Our game MVP was Napavine’s Hayden Kaut, who led all scorers with 24 points, congratulations to the freshman on a marvelous performance.
Rainier will play Raymond on Thursday at W.F. West at approximately 7 PM in an elimination game, the winner of that game heads to State.
Napavine would await the winner of the next game, Adna vs Toutle Lake to see who they will take on Saturday at W.F. West at approximately 6 PM.
We will be broadcasting both games on ESN.
Adna Pirates vs Toutle Lake
In the second District 4 Semifinal of the evening, Adna and Toutle Lake would come out of the game with some terrific defense. The shots were very tough to come by but Adna’s Brooklyn Loose found the hot hand from beyond the arc as she made a pair of threes and another 2-point field goal to give her eight of Adna’s 11 first-quarter points. The Pirates would have a tight 11-10 lead over the Ducks who made two three’s themselves by Lainey and Kendal Dean. Like the first semifinal, the offenses would find their rhythm in the second quarter as both teams would erupt for 17 points each. Toutle Lake’s Jasmine Smith hit two threes for the Ducks while Adna’s Brooklyn Loose hit two more threes in the second to give her four first-half threes and 16 points to give the Pirates a 28-27 lead at the halftime break. Both teams would go back and forth as the third quarter was another tight one, Adna outscored Toutle Lake by only one point as they did in the first quarter as the Pirates had a 42-40 lead going into the fourth. In the final period, Adna’s defense started to flex its muscles and gave Toutle Lake some trouble while sophomore guard, Gaby Guard had eight of her 15 points in the fourth quarter. Adna held Toutle Lake to just four fourth-quarter points and scored 15 themselves to give them a 57-44 win, clinch a spot in State and send them to a Saturday showdown between league foes, Napavine for the District 4 Championship. Adna only had four players score for them but three of the four players had double-digit points.
Our game MVP was Adna’s Brooklyn Loose who had five threes and a game-high 21 points to lead the Pirates, congratulations to the senior guard on a spectacular shooting night.
Toutle Lake will play Forks on Thursday at W.F. West at 5:30 PM in an elimination game, the winner of that game heads to State but will play the winner of Rainier and Raymond in the 3rd place game.
Adna will play Napavine, who was doing some scouting as the Tigers watched Adna top Toutle Lake. That game will be on Saturday for the District 4 Championship at approximately 6 PM.
We will be broadcasting those games on ESN.
You can watch the entire game on the NFHS Network on-demand. Subscriptions are $11.99 per month and gives you access to the entire NFHS Network all across the country to watch the live broadcasts or any on-demand games. Go to https://www.nfhsnetwork.com/affiliates/eli-sports-network to sign-up if you don’t have a subscription or to find the on-demand replay of this game.