Prep Girls BB: Olson Leads Black Squad to All-Star Win
MVP: Napavine Star Scores 25 Points; Kaech Adds 22, Lee Scores 18 in 88-81 Win
By Aaron VanTuyl
Mollie Olson really didn’t think she’d played that well.
Still, after 25 points, 11 rebounds and four assists — not to mention leading her Black team to a win — she was presented with the MVP award after Wednesday night’s SWW Senior All-Star Game Tuesday night at Centralia College.
“Yeah, it did not feel like that,” she said aftewards. “I didn’t think I did very good.”
Olson, the point guard on Napavine’s fifth-place State 2B tournament team, scored 10 in the first quarter, went 9 of 13 from the field and led her team throughout in an 88-81 win against the White squad.
The winning squad had plenty of 2B flavor, with Ilwaco’s Mackenzie Kaech adding 22 points, eight rebounds and six assists, and Olson’s prep running mate (and co-Central 2B League MVP) Melissa Lee adding 18 points and 13 rebounds.
Black team coach Tom Kelly, fresh off a State 2A championship with his W.F. West Bearcats on Saturday, was impressed with his team’s work.
“Oh, she’s great. She played great,” he said of Olson. “And Melissa, and the Kaech girl? I’m telling you, she’s as good a passer as I’ve seen all year, on the inside stuff? As good a passer as I’ve seen all year. And Mollie and Melissa, they’re really good.”
The Black squad took a 16-point lead, at 46-30, on a 3-pointer from Toledo’s Anna Tauscher late in the first half, and the White squad — coached by Napavine’s Jeremy Landram — never got the deficit below 4 points in the second half.
It was the sixth All-Star game win, by his own estimate, for Kelly, including three against Landram — who was the boys basketball coach at River Ridge High School back in 2010, when Kelly coached the Hawks to a state title.
At one point in the first half Kelly ordered a substitution, only to have six of his players left on the court. Landram chimed in that perhaps Kelly would like to play with six, to which Kelly replied that perhaps Landram should be more concerned with the score.
“That was a big incentive,” Kelly joked, as to coaching with Landram on the opposing sideline. “I told the girls, we want to win this game, and they said yeah, they did too. I’m 3-0 against that guy in these games.”
Olson, meanwhile, had fun playing against her prep coach, who also happens to be her uncle.
“It went pretty good,” she said, “Although (my niece) Piper wouldn’t talk to me before the game, because we weren’t on her team.”
Kelly, she joked, drew up one out-of-bounds play, but let the players handle most of the game on their own.
“Two out of bounds plays,” Kelly corrected. “How many offenses did we run, the four-low pick and roll stuff — you think that happens by accident?”
Kelly, too, was coaching against his own flesh and blood. Kiara Steen, Kelly’s granddaughter and point guard on the Bearcats’ championship team, scored a team-high 17 points for the White squad, with 10 coming in the second half.
Ilwaco’s Eliza Bannister led the White team with 18 points and 12 rebounds, and Black Hills’ Lindsey Nurmi notched 12 points and won the halftime 3-point shooting contest, edging Kaech 17-10 in the finals.
Madeline Jacobson, another member of Ilwaco’s sixth-place team from last week’s State 2B tournament, finished with 15 points and 10 boards for the White team, and Centralia’s Ellie Corwin added 8 points and five rebounds for the Black team.
BLACK 88, WHITE 81
Black 20 26 20 22 —88
White 17 15 26 23 —81
Black (88) — Olson 25, Corwin 8, Christian 6, Kaech 22, Lee 18, Tauscher 5, Snaza 4
FG: 35 of 76 —.461 FT: 15 of 19 —.789 Reb. 45 (Lee 13, Olson 11)
White (81) — Bannister 18, Johnson 6, Moorcroft 7, Nurmi 12, Steen 17, Fried 1, Wilkerson 3, Gairns 2, Jacobson 15
FG: 34 of 96 —.354 FT: 3 of 8 —.375 Reb. 48 (Bannister 12, Jacobson 10)