CHEHALIS — An impressive fourth quarter wasn’t quite enough to keep Aberdeen’s girls basketball season alive.
Fourth-ranked River Ridge down the stretch to beat the Bobcats, 50-42, and eliminated them from the District IV Class 2A Girls Basketball Tournament game Wednesday at Chehalis.
Aberdeen ended its season with a 10-13 record.
After halftime, River Ridge found an offensive rhythm for the first time in the game. The Hawks increased their lead to 37-22 by opening the second half with a 10-2 run. Senior post Rebecca Stevenson scored six of her team-high 17 points during that stretch.
Aberdeen trailed 37-23 going into the fourth quarter. However, with their backs against the wall and their season on the line, the Bobcats were not ready to give up.
Emily Fisher hit a pair of deep 3-pointers for Aberdeen to open the scoring in the fourth quarter. Alexxi Timmons followed with a pair of free throws to cut River Ridge’s lead to 37-31.
After Savannah McGill made one of two free throws for the Hawks, Makenna Roiko nailed a deep trey to cut Aberdeen’s deficit to just four points with 4:35 seconds left in the game.
Although the Bobcats kept it close the rest of the way, they were never able to cut the Hawks’ lead to less than four points down the stretch. A pair of free throws by Stevenson with 36 seconds left put River Ridge up 50-42 and essentially sealed the win for the Hawks.
Nine of River Ridge’s 13 fourth quarter points came from the free throw line, including seven of its last nine points. The Hawks converted 18 of 25 from the charity stripe in the game.
River Ridge’s formidable pair of post players – McGill and Stevenson – combined to score 28 points. Guarding the paint proved to be a tough task for the undersized and short-handed Bobcats.
“River Ridge is good. They have some bigs that give us mismatch problems,” Aberdeen head coach Aaron Roiko said. “I couldn’t be prouder of the overall effort. We were a couple of possessions short of winning that game. In the third quarter, (River Ridge) got up by 15 points, but we wanted to compete to the end and play with pride and intensity. Give a lot of credit to the seniors for leading the team.”
Kiana Dixon led the Bobcats with 17 points. The senior connected on seven of her eight free throw attempts and attacked the basket well throughout the game.
Roiko also noted that his assistant coaches – Gienelle Harless, Sean Jamieson and Bob VanWormer – have put in a lot of time and effort, and cited them for their contributions this season.
Riv. Ridge 14 8 15 13 — 50 Aber 9 6 8 19 — 42
River Ridge (50) – Coleman 4, Schultz 6, Bertheny 3, Floyd, Brewster 9, McGill 11, Stevenson 17. FG – 15-51 (.294). FT – 18-25.
Aberdeen (42) – Buckman, Fisher 14, Timmons 2, Dixon 17, Roiko 3, Kuhn, Johnson, Blackburn 6. FG – 14-40 (.350). FT — 10-12.