Elma girls stage dramatic rally for win

ELMA — Miranda McDonald and Kayla Pacheco led a furious final-minute comeback that gave wounded Elma a dramatic 58-56 win over Rochester in an Evergreen 1A League girls basketball game Tuesday night at Elma.

Playing without leading scorer Megan Finger, who was injured in the second quarter, the Eagles trailed 55-49 with 40 seconds remaining.

Fouled on a 3-point attempt, McDonald made all three free throws to reduce the deficit to three. Rochester’s Keiley Demers answered by making one of two foul shots.

Pacheco, who led all scorers with 20 points, then buried a three-ball to narrow the margin to one. After the Warriors turned it over in backcourt, McDonald sank two free throws to give the Eagles a 57-56 lead with nine seconds left.

Rochester missed on a final shot and Elma’s Ashley Cooper made the final point from the foul line.

“They dug down super deep,” Elma coach Lisa Johnson said of her troops. “With Finger going down, the team stepped up huge at the end to finish it.”

Finger, Elma’s senior post, sustained a calf or Achilles tendon injury of undetermined severity.

Pacheco was one of the Eagles who helped fill the gap, also contributing 10 rebounds. Brooke Goldsmith added 16 points, seven steals and three blocked shots as Elma (11-0, 17-3) won its 11th straight.

Already assured of the Evergreen 1A League title, the Eagles close out the regular season at home Thursday against Hoquiam.

Roch 12 14 13 17 — 56 Elma 18 8 20 12 — 58

Rochester (56) — J. Lancaster 18, Justice 2, Seymour 10, Keiley Demers 15, Kesha Demers 6, Althauser 5. FG — 20-51 (.392). FT — 13-21.

Elma (58) — Farrar, Wollen 1, Malmstrom, Goldsmith 16, Cristelli 4, McDonald 10, Smythe 4, Finger 2, Pacheco 20, Cooper 1. FG — 19-59 (.322). FT — 17-24.

JV — Elma won.