ILWACO — When the dust figuratively cleared following a wild game-ending scramble, Montesano’s girls were headed to district.
Overcoming an eight-point halftime deficit, the Bulldogs edged Ilwaco, 44-42, in a District IV Class 1A girls basketball play-in contest Tuesday night at Ilwaco.
By surviving the loser-out contest, the Bulldogs (13-8) advanced to the double-elimination phase of district. They earned a third crack at rival Elma in an opening-round contest scheduled for 8 p.m. Friday at Centralia.
Senior Bobbi Fry tallied 16 points, while point guard Megan Choate, 7-of-8 from the foul line, added 11 points for the Bulldogs.
Down 24-16 at the half, Montesano responded with a 10-0 run to open the third quarter. The Bulldogs forced the Fishermen into nine turnovers in the quarter while committing only one of their own.
“We had our backs against the wall (but) we came out on fire and carried that throughout the second half,” Monte coach Julie Graves said. “The kids didn’t want their season to be done and played like it.”
The Bulldogs led through most of the second half and owned as much as a seven-point advantage in the fourth quarter. They were up by five after Fry hit a 3-point shot with about two minutes left.
The Fishermen, however, scored the next three points and had the ball in the waning seconds. Their final shot missed badly and Monte’s Andrea Ostwald rebounded, but the ball was knocked loose with about six seconds left.
With players on both teams vainly attempting to gain possession, the ball rolled all the way from underneath the basket to midcourt. Time expired before either team could gain control.
Choate collected 10 rebounds and three steals, while Fry also came up with three steals. Mackinzie Malizia handed out four assists.
Jasmine Coffin scored 13 points for Ilwaco before fouling out in the fourth quarter.
Monte 7 9 16 12 — 44 Ilw 10 14 4 14 — 42
Montesano (44) — Nuckols 4, Choate 11, Fry 16, Ostwald 4, Malizia 9, Floch. FG — 15-43 (.349). FT 13-20.
Ilwaco (42) — McPhail 2, Landstrom 1, Pacheco 8, Trusty 4, Bell 8, Coffin 13, Smith 6. FG — 18-44 (.409). FT 3-4.