MONTESANO — If bad timing on a late timeout doesn’t haunt Taholah’s girls, Mary M. Knight’s perimeter shooting surely will.
The Owls made 11 three-point baskets — two by Ashley Kiliz in overtime — to end Taholah’s five-year district title reign, 65-62, in a pulsating District IV Class 1B girls championship game Saturday at Montesano’s Bo Griffith Memorial Gym.
Mary M. Knight (16-4) will presumably remain close to home for regional competition next weekend.
Although denied a sixth successive district title, Taholah (12-2) will also continue its regionals at a time and site to be determined.
Regional pairings and sites are scheduled to be announced Monday.
Combining to nail eight of their team’s treys, Kiliz and Jaycee Valley shared Knight scoring honors with 17 points apiece.
That enabled the Owls to overcome the 21 points of Taholah sharpshooter Trish Charley and a huge Chitwhin advantage from the foul line.
Taholah canned 16 of 28 free throws — all in the second half and overtime. The Owls were 0-for-3 from the stripe during the same time frame.
The Chitwhins used their foul-line accuracy — 11-of-15 in the period— to erase an eight-point deficit in the fourth quarter.
Down 44-36 early in the final stanza and 51-46 with 3:36 remaining, Taholah closed the gap when Charley made two foul shots at the two-minute mark and Nicole Hidalgo sank one of two from the stripe with 1:31 left. Reserve Leeza James, a Taholah stalwart off the bench in the fourth quarter, tied it with a basket with 52 seconds remaining.
After her team regained possession following an Owl miss, Taholah coach Freida Waugh called time at 0:34 — a split second before Charley drained a three that would have given the Chitwhins the lead.
“That’s going to haunt me forever,” she moaned afterward.
The Chitwhins then missed three attempts at a winning basket.
Nevertheless, Taholah entered OT with an apparent advantage. Miranda Sowle, one of Knight’s top performers, had already fouled out and several other Owls were teetering on the brink of extinction with four personals.
But Knight’s Carlie Adsero and Valley opened the extra period with layins to give the Owls an advantage they never relinquished. Kilez’s second trey of overtime, with about 1:20 remaining, gave Knight a seven-point advantage at 63-56.
Charley’s 3-pointer at the final buzzer served only to narrow the final margin.
“We battled through losing our starter,” Knight coach Lance Valley said. “The other teammates pulled through for us.”
Knight’s reliance on perimeter shooting Saturday was no aberration, Coach Valley said.
“Everybody plays a zone against us,” he said.
Playing an almost flawless first quarter (they were 9-of-14 from the field in the period), the Chitwhins bolted to a 20-12 lead at the first break. They were plagued by turnovers the rest of the way, however, finishing with 26 miscues.
The Chitwhins did own a 43-29 rebounding advantage.
“We’re evenly-matched teams, it could have gone either way,” Taholah assistant coach Donald Waugh said. “They got their shots to fall. They finally got us.”
Karleena Walter, who shook loose on a handful of breakaways, scored 14 points for Taholah. James tallied 8 of her 10 points in the fourth quarter.
Knight’s Miranda Sowle had nine assists and seven rebounds before fouling out.
Taholah 20 6 10 15 11 — 62
Knight 12 12 17 10 14 — 65
Taholah (62) — Walter 14, Waugh 8, Cheney 5, Charley 21, Hidalgo 4, James 10, Logan. FG — 21-63 (.333). FT — 16-28.
Knight (65) — Valley 17, Sowle 10, Kiliz 17, Adsero 10, Dierkop 6, Haury, Bearden, Snyder 5, FG — 25-69 (.362). FT — 4-8.