Regional 2B Girls Basketball: Gfeller, Colfax Too Much for Napavine in Regional
NOT DONE: Tigers Move On to Loser-Out Game Wednesday in Spokane
By Aaron VanTuyl
The Tigers might get another shot at Colfax next week, perhaps under better conditions.
On Friday, though, the Bulldogs — star forward Carmen Gfeller in particular — just wore Napavine down.
Gfeller scored 22 of her game-high 33 points in the second half, with 14 in the fourth quarter, and No. 5 Colfax pulled away in the fourth quarter for a 62-56 win in 2B girls regional action at W.F. West High School.
The loss means Napavine (21-3) will play in a loser-out game in Spokane at 12:15 p.m. Wednesday in the State 2B tournament against either Brewster or Mossyrock, who play a loser-out regional in Wenatchee on Saturday.
With star point guard Mollie Olson playing at less than full strength, though, the outcome wasn’t as crushing as it could have been.
“With the cards we were dealt tonight, not being exactly full strength, and to play a team of that quality and have it all the way til the fourth quarter is really assuring going forward,” Landram said, “if we can win and take care of business on Wednesday.”
Olson, who finished with 17 points, six rebounds and a handful of steals, had been fighting bronchitis for the past few days and dealing with breathing issues leading up to the game.
“You’ve seen her play before. You can tell the difference,” Landram said. “At halftime she was just coughing up everything you can imagine. She’s just the definition of a warrior.”
Melissa Lee led Napavine with 19 points and added five rebounds, and Sydney Purvis chipped in 7 points.
The Tigers held a slim 43-40 lead going into the final stanza, but Gfeller scored 8 straight points — a layup, a 3-point play on a fastbreak and a 3 — to give the Bulldogs their first lead of the game.
Colfax added a 6-0 run before Napavine could hit its first field goal of the fourth, leading 54-44 with 3:28 left to play.
Gfeller scored the Bulldogs’ next 6 points, capping things off with a reverse layup that made it 60-50 with 1:01 to play.
The Tigers had led 31-26 at halftime, keeping their lead after going on a 10-0 run in the first quarter.
Colfax, though, rotated through a trio of forwards from 5-11 to 6-foot alongside Gfeller and outrebounded the Tigers 31-20, with Greta Geier grabbing 13 boards.
“Oh they’re good. We knew that coming in,” Landram said of the 20-4 Bulldogs. “We knew they’d pound us on the boards and be very physical, and that’s exactly what they did tonight. I think we ran out of gas, as far as my girls being a little under the weather, but that’s no excuse.”
Colfax also got 12 points from sophomore Skylre Sakamoto-Howell, and outrebounded Napavine 31-20. The Bulldogs move on to play at 9 a.m. Thursday morning, in Spokane, against either White Swan or the winner of Saturday’s Friday Harbor/Tri-Cities Prep regional game.
“We go by the karma that everything happens for a reason,” Landram said. “We’re where we are because of the choices we’ve made, and we’ll rebound and get moving forward.”
BULLDOGS 62, TIGERS 56
Colfax 11 15 14 22 —62
Napavine 18 13 12 13 —56
Colfax (62) — S. Sakamoto-Howell 12, Cai 1, Miller 3, Gfeller 33, York 2, Geier 6, Brown 5
FG: 22 of 46 —.478 FT: 12 of 19 —.632 Reb. 31 (Geier 13)
Napavine (56) — Beeson 3, Olson 17, Purvis 7, Snaza 6, Evander 4, Lee 19
FG: 19 of 50 —.380 FT: 13 of 18 —.722 Reb. 20 (Olson 6, Lee 5)