Regional 2B Boys Basketball: Thornburg Comes Up Big in Pirates’ Regional Win Over MWP
ANOTHER THRILLER: Adna Rallies in Final Minutes for 51-50 Win, Automatic Entry to State Tourney
By Aaron VanTuyl
Trevor Thornburg hadn’t had a big game in the playoffs, and hadn’t had a big game against Morton-White Pass this season.
Still, on the bus ride to Chehalis on Friday evening for a 2B regional matchup with MWP, both he and Adna coach Luke Salme had a feeling.
“He’s been lights-out in practice,” Salme said of the 6-foot-5 senior guard. “He hasn’t shot it very well the last five or six games, but we know he can. … I said, ‘Trev, I got a funny feeling you might go off here tonight.’”
Nobody could argue with that sentiment by the end of the Pirates’ 51-50 win.
Thorburg went 4 for 4 from 3 in the first half and came up big in the final minute, cashing in a 3 with 25 seconds left that gave Adna the lead for good.
Thornburg had scored 7 points against the Timberwolves 10 days earlier, in Adna’s 47-45 District 4 semifinal win.
“I didn’t shoot the ball too well, and came into this game realizing I’d have to knock down some shots and get the inside open,” he said. “And just play my game and know my role.”
He finished with 17 points and hit a pair of foul shots with 13 seconds to go that put Adna up 51-47 — just enough of a cushion to survive a 3-pointer from MWP star Matt Poquette in the game’s final seconds.
The win gives Adna automatic entry into the double-elimination portion of the State 2B tournament in Spokane, while the Timberwolves (20-6) will play again on Wednesday, also at the Spokane Arena, against Friday Harbor in a loser-out game.
“We played a team that’s a higher seed than us, we played a team that won the district championship … and we lost to them by a point,” MWP coach Tony Gillispie said. “I don’t think that’s something to hang your head over.”
It was the third game between the two teams since Jan. 31, with the three contests decided by a grand total of 4 points. The Timberwolves won the first game, 55-54, in Morton.
“I’d like another opportunity to play Adna again, when it means a little more, even — maybe for a championship,” Gillispie, the coach of MWP’s two state title teams, said. “But if not, I don’t want to see them again, to be honest with you.”
“(Tony and I) talked about that before, let’s hope this is the last time,” Salme said. “They are so tough defensively for us. We just know they’re not going to change anything. They’re going to play man, they’re going to be physical, Matt’s going to guard Cody (Young) and it’s going to make everything hard for us, and if you can ever get by them there’s going to be 6-foot-8 (Tristan Storey) waiting for you.”
That was true early on, as MWP ran out to an 8-0 lead. The Pirates found their stroke from long range, going 6 of 8 from 3 in the first half, and behind Thornburg’s 12 first-half points led 31-26 at the break.
Adna, though, went cold in the third quarter, managing just 4 points — both on buckets from center Lyle Metzenberg — and saw its lead trimmed to 35-34 heading into the fourth.
The Timberwolves took the lead on a bucket inside from Carson Lewis to open the fourth, pulled ahead 45-40 on a 3 from Lewis and led 47-41 with 2:30 to play on a fastbreak layup from Poquette.
Young, who finished with a team-high 18 points, went 5 of 6 at the foul line over the next two minutes to make it a 1-point game, and Thornburg’s last 3 marked the game’s final lead change.
“We just came out on the short end,” Gillispie said. “We had three one-and-ones (free throws) and didn’t hit them, and I think that would have iced it for us.
“We didn’t hit them today, but we work on free throws daily,” Gillispie added. “We’ll work on them Monday, and I expect our kids to hit them next time.”
Poquette finished with 24 points and five rebounds, drawing, as usual, a series of out-of-the-ordinary defensive schemes to slow the 6-foot-6 senior down.
“I thought he played really well,” Gillispie said. “We see these weird defenses, and you can’t run anything conventional, you can’t run any offense at all, because it’s two and three guys and it just makes things challenging for us on the offensive end. But we’re getting through it, we’re going to Spokane, and we’re doing alright.”
Storey added 11 points for the Timberwolves with 10 rebounds.
Metzenberg finished with 10 points for the Pirates. Adna (22-2) will play on Thursday at 3:45 p.m. against either the loser of Saturday’s Toledo/Liberty game or the winner of Saturday’s Crosspoint/Colfax game.
“We’re there for two, for sure, at least, and our goal’s to go 3-0, and we didn’t want to take a step back,” Salme said. “And I don’t care if you win by 1 or by 15 against MWP, it’s a step forward and we’ll take it.”