Vikings Can’t Hang on in 50-40 Season-Ending Loss
By Eric Trent
SPOKANE — Mossyrock led with 3:15 to play but couldn’t hang on, surrendering an 11-4 run down the stretch to Columbia Burbank as the Coyotes sank the Vikings in a 50-40 state-opening loss on Wednesday.
The Vikings season ends with a 21-6 record and a district championship appearance.
“We were kind of the underdog all year,” Mossyrock coach Autumn Moorcroft said. “Nobody really expected us to make it over to Spokane. We didn’t get those big wins in the regular season, and in the postseason we persevered and figured out how to win when it counts. The heart of this team and how hard they wanted to play for each other stands out for me.”
The 10th-ranked Vikings raced out to a 22-18 halftime lead, fueled by the shooting prowess of senior Andee Nelson, who ended the half with 11 points to help the Vikings go into the locker room on a 7-0 run. It was a physical affair throughout with vicious screens, booming blockouts, rough fouls and forearm-shiver drives to the bucket as the Vikings battled against a much-larger Coyotes squad.
The Vikings relinquished their four-point lead midway through the third as the 7th-ranked Coyotes reeled off a 10-3 run to end the third quarter, capped by two 3-pointers. Mossyrock senior Andee Nelson’s 3-pointer was the Vikings’ lone points to stem the avalanche of Coyote scoring.
Mossyrock retook the lead at the start of the fourth on two free throws each from Payton Torrey and Hailey Brooks to go up 31-30 with 7:36 to go. The Vikings increased that lead to three after Nelson’s tough drive to the bucket and foul to complete the and-one play, notching her 17th points of the day. She finished with a game-high 20 points and 12 rebounds.
Columbia snatched the lead back on consecutive shots under the baskets with five minutes to go then ran of an 11-3 run to go up 43-37. With the momentum stolen, the Vikings failed to mount a comeback, taking a 50-40 season-ending loss.
“We just really struggled to find the basket when it mattered,” Moorcroft said. “They’d go on a run and we just couldn’t find our run. Defensively, there were some foul calls that would take momentum. They were pretty tall and aggressive.”
Seniors Faith Mulligan, Andee Nelson and Jenny Brockway played their final games for the Vikings.
“They’re a great bunch to coach,” Moorcroft said. “They’re some of the greatest leaders I’ve seen. Each one of them has their own role and they fully embrace. If I didn’t have each person doing their own role, our team would struggle. They know how to come together and keep everybody calm.”
COYOTES 50, VIKINGS 40
Columbia 9 9 12 20 —50
Mossyrock 12 10 5 13 —40
Columbia (50) — Dyer 6, Stanley 6, Jacobo 14, Johnson 15, Talley 4, Kinsey 5
FG: 13 of 44 —.295 FT: 20 of 26 —.769 Reb. 33 (Dyer 7)
Mossyrock (40) — Nelson 20, Mulligan 3, Torrey 3, Marshall 6, Brooks 5, Vigre 3
FG: 13 of 43 —.302 FT: 10 of 15—.667 Reb. 34 (Nelson 12)