Four-time defending state champs, Colton, roll by Taholah, 77-15

SPOKANE — To be honest, no one really wants to face the defending champs in game one of a state basketball tournament.

And what happened Thursday afternoon in the Spokane Arena is testimony to why that is.

Taholah opened the state 1B girls basketball tournament at the Spokane Arena on Thursday against the four-time defending state champion Colton and was handed a 77-15 first-round loss.

At 10:30 a.m. today, Taholah took on Shoreline Christian in a winner-to-place, loser-out contest. The Crusaders suffered a 55-52 loss to Wilbur-Creston early on Thursday.

Taholah matched a state tournament record in the first and third quarters as Colton held the Chitwhins scoreless, adding them to a list of several schools — listed as “many” — which have scored zero points in one quarter.

The Chitwhins missed another state mark by two points — the largest margin of victory in 1B tournament history is 64 points, also set by Colton in 2012.

Taholah missed on eight shot attempts in the first eight minutes of the contests, and committed six turnovers, allowing the Wildcats to build a 23-0 lead after one frame. That set the tone for what was to come, Taholah head coach Jerry Walther said.

“I didn’t expect us to come out so flat, but we did. It could have been a case of nerves,” he said.

“We just weren’t doing what we have been that worked this year, but the kids fought hard to the end. Now we have to deal with Shoreline Christian in the morning. At least we won’t have to play Colton again.”

Rachel Cheney finally got Taholah on the scoreboard with a basket 30 seconds into the second quarter, but the Wildcats were up by 35 points at halftime, 45-10.

The game went to a running clock under the state’s 40-point mercy rule when Paige Vincent scored with 6:15 left in the third period, giving Colton a 51-10 lead.

Trish Dunn finished with four points for the Chitwins, who shot just 17.6 percent from the floor compared to 44.1 percent for Colton. Five different Wildcats scored in double figures, and Colton finished with a 44-21 rebounding advantage.

Col 23 22 16 16 — 77 Tah 0 10 0 5 — 15

Colton (77) — J.Moser 14, Z.Moser 3, Meyer 10, Dahmen 2, Vincent 14,Druffel 10, Chadwick 6, Warner 13, Smith 5, Kramer. FG — 30-68 (.441). FT — 9-15.

Taholah (15) — James 2, Walther 3, Skaar 1, Dunn 4, R.Cheney 2, T.Cheney 1, Vitalis, Campbell, Waugh. FG — 6-34 (.176).FT — 1-4.

Three-pointers: Colton 8-22 (J.Moser 2, Druffel 2, Chadwick 2, Smith, Z.Moser), Taholah 2-10 (Walther, T.Cheney)

Rebounds: Colton 44 (Warner 9), Taholah 21 (James 4, R.Cheney 4)

Assists: Colton 14 (J.Moser 5), Taholah 2 (Skaar, R.Cheney)