Saturday’s 2B Girls BB: Tigers Finish Fifth in State

TROPHY: Lee Scores 29 in Final Prep Game, but St. George’s Beats Napavine 50-44

By Aaron VanTuyl

avantuyl@chronline.com

SPOKANE — The senior-led Tigers were coming off a loss in the semifinals that had dashed their title hopes.

St. George’s, meanwhile, looked a bit more like a team just happy to be playing for a trophy.

That extra bit of energy helped the Dragons pull away late here Saturday in a 50-44 win over Napavine in the third-place game of the State 2B girls basketball tournament.

The Tigers (23-5) finished the season with a fifth-place trophy, their second piece of hardware in three years, after winning the Central 2B League title and taking second in the District 4 tournament.

“Obviously, they didn’t come over to play in the third-place game,” Napavine coach Jeremy Landram said. “For them to show up against a team that’s mostly underclassmen and that’s, more or less, they wanted to win any trophy — for them to rebound and play a game like they did and play through the adversity that everybody saw that went on in the second half, they did a really good job of just battling.”

Melissa Lee scored 31 points to lead Napavine, with Mollie Olson adding 10. The senior duo, who split the Central 2B League MVP award this season, started all four years for the Tigers and played in Spokane each March.

“Those girls have been just phenomenal impacts on my family, and Napavine,” Landram said. “And those other girls that came out last year and have never played before are crying just as hard as Mollie and Melissa in (the locker room), because those girls are wonderful people and have made them all feel a part of it.”

Napavine led 26-24 at halftime, but went just 7 of 23 from the field in the second half.

Olson hit a layup with 22 seconds left to cut the lead to 48-44, and St. George’s lost the ball on the inbounds play. After a timeout, though, Napavine’s next attempt was off the mark, and Dragon forward Shayla Melendez grabbed the rebound with 10 seconds left, all but sealing the win.

“They never wavered,” Landram said. “And that’s a true testament to that leadership that I’ve been fortunate enough to have the last four years I’ve been here.”

Lee added nine rebounds in her final prep game, while Olson had five boards and three steals.

Lee scored 104 points over four games in the tournament, hitting 40 field goals. Even taking away her 31-point performance in the Tigers’ play-in win over Brewster, her 73 points and 28 made field goals. The point total breaks the 2011-to-present tournament record of 72, set by Okanogan’s Jill Townsend in 2015 and tied by Wahkiakum’s Peyton Souvenir in 2017, and the field goals mark breaks a record held by Townsend and Reardan’s Kelsey Moos.

It was the final game for Napavine seniors Olson, Lee, Becca Snaza, Emilie Evander and Lucy Sevilla.

Mia Smith led St. George’s with 12 points, and Ceci Bergquist scored 10. The Dragons finished the season 21-8 and graduate just three seniors, two of whom started.

 

At Spokane

DRAGONS 50, TIGERS 44

St. George’s 13 11 11 15 —50

Napavine     16 10 8 10 —44

St. George’s (50) — Tender 3, L. Bergquist 7, C. Bergquist 10, Smith 12, D. Melendez 9, Boring 2, S. Melendez 5

FG: 18 of 39 —.462 FT: 11 of 20 —.550 Reb. 35 (S. Melendez 9)

Napavine (44) — Sevilla, Olson 10, Snaza 2, Lee 31, Purvis 1

FG: 17 of 49 —.347 FT: 9 of 14 —.643 Reb. 29 (Lee 9)

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