Raymond girls rebound to win 19th straight

RAYMOND — In a game of second and third chances, Willapa Valley gave Abby Maneman a few too many during crunch time.

Maneman scored 12 of her 19 points in the fourth quarter as Raymond wrapped up a Pacific League championship girls basketball season with a 53-45 victory over Willapa Valley on Wednesday night at Raymond.

Fourth-ranked among state Class 2B teams, the Seagulls (12-0, 19-1) finished the regular-season with a 19-game winning streak. Players and coaches commemorated the league title with a net-cutting ceremony following the contest. This was the first time Raymond’s teams have won boys and girls league championships in the same year since 1992.

Raymond opens district Class 2B play Feb. 9, probably at Montesano.

The loss prevented Willapa Valley (8-4, 12-8) from claiming the league’s second-seeded berth — and the resulting first-round district bye. Relegated to third in the league, the Vikings will make their district debut Wednesday at Montesano.

If nothing else, the Gulls proved last night they could beat a tough opponent without even lukewarm shooting.

Their inside game neutralized by a packed-in Valley zone, the Gulls sandwiched 10 three-point baskets among a slew of misses from the perimeter. Raymond was shooting at a 22 percent clip for three quarters before warming up slightly to a concluding .254 percentage.

More often than not, however, the Gulls would rebound their missed shots and either convert or draw fouls on their second and third attempts. Raymond pulled down 22 offensive rebounds, according to Valley’s statistics. That enabled the Gulls to launch 17 more field-goal attempts than the undersized Vikings.

Senior forward Shylo Boyes led Raymond with nine rebounds, while sophomore post Aiyisha Garcia added seven.

“Bad positioning, that’s for sure,” Valley coach Melissa Aust lamented. “Too many easy rebounds for them.”

The game itself, however, was far from easy for Raymond.

Held scoreless for the game’s opening five minutes, the Gulls spotted Valley the first eight points and scrambled to forge a 25-all halftime tie.

They didn’t take a permanent lead until Hailee Williams hit a three-ball from the right wing that made it 31-30 with 3:12 remaining in the third quarter.

With cousins Lauren and Karli Friese doing most of the damage, the Vikings were still within two, at 36-34, when L. Friese made two foul shots 34 seconds into the fourth quarter.

After Maneman answered with two free throws, the Gulls followed another offensive rebound with a Courtney Hagain 3-pointer. Maneman hit the first of three fourth-quarter treys moments later to make it 44-36 with six minutes remaining.

Raymond led by as many as 12 in the late going.

Gull coach Jon Schray saw long-range positives in his team’s offensive struggles.

“It was a good game. We needed one like that going into district,” Schray said. “I can’t say enough about how the girls persevered. It seemed like everything was stacked against us for a while. I’m really proud of the way they persevered the whole game.”

Hagain and Williams added 10 points and three steals apiece for Raymond. The versatile Maneman also chipped in with four assists and three steals.

Lauren Friese found some opening on runners to lead the Vikings with 19 points. Karli Friese contributed 12 points and six rebounds before fouling out with 2:51 remaining.

Morgan Walker paced Valley rebounders with seven.

Nine Gulls — Maneman, Boyes, Hagain, Macy Karlsvik, Jaime Donovan, Amanda Koski, Dalia Silva, Angel Paull and Cynthia Martinez – were honored during Senior Night ceremonies.

WV 9 16 7 13 — 45 Ray 8 17 10 18 — 53

Willapa Valley (45) — L. Friese 19, Bannish 3, Huber 4, K. Friese 12, Walker 5, Smaciarz, Fluke, Harden 2. FG — 14-46 (.304). FT — 12-24.

Raymond (53) — Williams 10, Boyes 2, Garcia 8, Hagain 10, Maneman 19, Karlsvik 4, Silva, Gilbert, Koski, Heckard, Donovan. FG — 16-63 (.254). FT — 11-19.

JV — Raymond 45, Willapa Valley 41.