KELSO — Belying the heavy rain that was falling outside, Elma’s and Hoquiam’s girls fell victim to season-ending droughts on Wednesday night.
Rochester limited the Eagles to three field goals in recording a 47-41 upset that eliminated Elma from the District IV Class 1A girls basketball tournament at Kelso High School’s Hilander Gym.
Earlier in the evening, similarly cold-shooting Hoquiam was shut down by Kalama, 40-27, in another loser-out contest.
Elma’s season ended with a 15-7 record. The Grizzlies closed up shop at 11-13.
Rochester (18-5) will face Kalama (18-4) for the district’s third and final regional berth at 6 p.m. Friday at Chehalis.
Montesano and Woodland, both unbeaten, will collide for the district championship at 8 p.m. at the same location.
Warriors 47, Eagles 41
Normally explosive Elma incredibly went the opening 10 1/2 minutes of the second half without a field goal. The Eagles, in fact, needed a Conley Doyle free throw in the final 15 seconds to avoid being blanked entirely in the third quarter.
As off-target as its shooting was during that stretch, Elma’s passing may have been worse. The Eagles committed 11 turnovers in the second half, nearly all of them on telegraphed cross-court or entry passes that the hustling Warriors took the other way.
With Rochester missing some close-in shots, the Eagles were fortunate to be trailing by only eight early in the fourth quarter. Maddie Thompson ended the dry spell with a 3-point basket with 5:28 remaining. Then Brooke Goldsmith and Thompson each hit a pair of free throws that lifted Elma into a 35-all deadlock with 4:28 on the clock.
The Warriors beat the Eagle press on their next possession and fed Madison Justice for a layin. Justice added a pair of free throws to extend the margin to four with 3:15 left.
Unable to connect on a succession of 3-point attempts, the Eagles could never catch up. Rochester’s Keeli Demers made 5-of-6 free throws in the closing two minutes to seal the victory.
“I’ve never seen the team that showed up tonight,” Elma coach Lisa Johnson said. “The defense was terrible, we lost in every area…I’m as baffled as you are. We had a great practice yesterday, but they did not come out with the fire and desire to win the basketball game and Rochester did.”
The Eagles had beaten the Warriors twice by double-digit margins during Evergreen 1A League competition. A similar outcome appeared very possible when the Elma blasted out to a 24-17 lead midway through the second quarter.
But, shooting very well in the first half and taking care of the ball after a shaky start (they committed only four turnovers in the second half), Rochester scrapped back to forge a 26-26 tie at halftime.
Backed by a raucous student section that Rochester coach A.J. Easley actually had to quiet down at times so his players could hear his instructions, the Warriors scored the opening seven points of the second half and never again trailed.
Demers led Rochester’s balanced attack with 12 points.
Goldsmith topped the Eagles with 15 points — 12 in the first half. Thompson tallied seven of her 11 points in the fourth quarter.
Taryn Farrar was Elma’s leading rebounder with seven.
Johnson expressed appreciation to her three seniors — Goldsmith, Farrar and Sydney Smythe — assistant coach Bryan Schneider and volunteer aide Mack Moxley.
Chinooks 40, Grizzlies 27
After a first quarter that ended in a 2-2 tie, both teams must have believed this game was theirs for the taking. It was Kalama that eventually did the taking.
Operating primarily from the perimeter, the Grizzlies could never find the range with their shooting. They hit only 17 percent from the field in the first half and 26 percent for the game. Hoquiam also attained unwanted consistency from the foul line, going 2-of-9 from the stripe in each half.
“I think we saw some open shots around the 3-point line at the beginning,” said HHS assistant coach Kristi Kellogg, who filled in when head coach Mark Maxfield missed the game due to illness. “They just weren’t going in this time, as they were in the last game (Saturday’s double-overtime win over La Center).”
Kellogg was rightfully proud of her team’s defensive performance, as neither club could crack the other’s zone with much consistency.
Down by as many as six early in the third quarter, the Grizzlies rallied to tie it at 21 when Brandi Creviston nailed her team’s lone three-ball of the game with 48 seconds remaining in the period. Jazzmine Rowland answered with a conventional three-point play 13 seconds later to put Kalama ahead to stay.
The taller Chinooks used offensive rebounding to pull away in the final stanza. Six-foot freshman Kaelyn Shipley, a good mid-range shooter, scored seven of her 16 points in the fourth quarter.
The Grizzlies didn’t help their own cause by committing nine turnovers in the fourth quarter.
Junior guard Ellie Quercia, effective at times knifing into the key for pull-up jumpers, led Hoquiam with nine points.
Kellogg commended her seniors (Creviston, Mikaila Johnson, McKell Sansaver, Vanessa Doyle, Kayla Hilliard and Cassidy Gregg) for their contributions.
Kalama 2 12 10 16 — 40 Hoquiam 2 8 11 6 — 27
Kalama (40) — Clark 1, Badger 2, Shipley 16, Bannister 10, Esary 5, Rowland 3, Beck, LaRoy 3. FG — 16-54 (.296). FT — 6-13.
Hoquiam (27) — Quercia 9, Rose 1, Creviston 5, Stewart 4, Johnson 6, Parker 2, Kramer, Sansaver. FG — 11-42 (.262). FT — 4-18.
Roch 10 16 7 14 — 47 Elma 15 11 1 14 — 41
Rochester (47) — Seymour 8, Lancaster 6, Keeli Demers 12, Kessa Demers 5, Althauser 8, Hegberg 1, Justice 7. FG — 17-55 (.309). FT — 12-18.
Elma (41) — M. Thompson 11, Farrar, Goldsmith 15, Cristelli 2, L. Thompson 2, Lipska 2, Doyle 5, A. Thompson, Hall 3, Elliott 1. FG — 14-53 (.264). FT — 9-17.