SPOKANE — One day after the worst loss of their limited season, the Taholah girls basketball team were back with a new approach and a stronger performance at the Spokane Arena.
Unfortunately, it wasn’t quite enough to keep this strange season going for the Chitwhins.
Shoreline Christian School finally managed to break away from the scrappy Chitwhins in the final two minutes of a 58-49 win Friday at the State Class 1B Girls Basketball Tournament.
The contest was a consolation semifinal game with the winner moving on to the trophy round Saturday.
The Chitwhins lost only four contested games but only played 14 games due to the dissolution of the Coastal League. Taholah was awarded eight forfeit wins after winning an appeal to the WIAA to prevent a postseason ban.
‘‘Other teams who got (to state) played in 25 or 30 games, while we played 14. It would have been nice to have had more of a season,” said Taholah head coach Jerry Walther.
“We got here, our boys got here, and both teams have played hard after having played only half as many games as most teams,” said Walther, who is also the school’s interim athletic director. “Now we go back to the drawing board and starting thinking about next season.”
The Chitwhins came out far more aggressively against Shoreline Christian than they did in their 62-point loss Thursday to four-time defending state champion Colton, and the approach allowed Taholah to jump to an early lead.
Laura James and Patricia Dunn got Taholah rolling to a 9-0 lead three minutes into the contest, an edge that helped the Chitwhins stay on top, 16-11, after one quarter.
But after James scored off a steal from Dramikha Skaar to push Taholah to an 18-11 lead a minute into the second period, Shoreline Christian ran off the next six points to get the Crusaders
Shoreline Christian’s Sarah Ott then took over, hitting a pair of 3-pointers and scoring 11 points in the final four minutes of the period, putting the Crusaders up by nine, 32-23, at the half. Ott finished the contest with 31 points.
The Chitwhins found their aggressiveness again about 90 seconds into the second half. With Skaar, James and Rachel Cheney doing the scoring, Taholah battled to within two points, 40-38, at the end of the third quarter.
The Crusader offense took a hit in the nose, literally, when Ott caught the elbow of a Taholah defender in the face and had to leave the floor with a bloody nose. The sophomore standout had the same thing happen to her Thursday in Shoreline Christian’s loss to Wilbur-Creston.
Skaar scored 20 seconds into the fourth quarter and then stole the ball and fed James for a basket that put Taholah back on top, 42-40, with 6:30 to go.
But Ott returned to the game at the start of the final panel, and hit two free throws to knot the score at 42-all with six minutes remaining. It would take the Crusaders just 90 seconds to regain control of the game as Ott scored twice and Kari Holly got a bucket off a fast break to put SCS up by six, 48-42, with 4:40 to go.
Two Skaar free throws, a bucket by Dunn and a layin off a steal from Skaar put the Chitwhins within a bucket, 50-48, with 1:47 left. But the Chitwhins were unable to catch the Crusaders, as Shoreline Christian’s Bella Hermesch scored off a rebound and hit four free throws in the final minute to ice the win.
Skaar and James, both senior playing their last games as Chitwhins, finished with 18 and 13 points, respectively, to lead the Taholah offense.
Shoreline Christian hit 21 of 30 free throws, compared to 7-of-21 for Taholah. Hermesch hit 15 of 16 free throws to scored 21 for the Crusaders.
SCC 11 21 8 18 — 58 Tah 16 7 15 11 — 49
Shoreline Christian (58) — Hoogerhyde 2, Holly 4, Ott 31, Hermesch 21, At.DeKoekkoek, Ap.DeKoekkoek, Reynolds, McPhearson, Ryder, FG — 17-49 (.347). FT — 21-30.
Taholah (49) — James 13, Walther 2, Skaar 18, Dunn 8, Cheney 8, Vitalis, Markishtum, Campbell, Waugh, Kramer, Ramirez. FG — 20-68 (.294). FT — 7-21.
Three-pointers: Shoreline Christian 3-6, 50.0% (Ott 3). Taholah 2-9, 22.2% (James, Skaar).
Rebounds: Shoreline Christian 47 (Hermesch 15), Taholah 37 (James 8, Skaar 7)