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BREMERTON — Already the Olympic League champions, the Port Angeles girls basketball team won its district tournament tune-up against the Olympic Trojans on Friday night.
The Roughriders held on for a close 38-35 victory on the road.
Port Angeles (15-1, 15-4) next plays Thursday at 7:45 p.m. in the West Central District 2A tournament at Foss High School in Tacoma.
Krista Johnson hit a long 3-pointer with a little over two minutes to play in the game to give Port Angeles the 38-35 lead.
That would ultimately be the final score thanks to the Riders’ defense holding Olympic scoreless over the final few minutes.
There were two key moments in the final seconds.
First, with seven seconds remaining, Maddy Hinrichs dove on a loose ball and held on as Trojans star Ashli Payne tried to rip it away, thereby forcing a jump ball with the possession arrow favoring Port Angeles.
Olympic fouled with just over three seconds to play.
The second big moment came after Port Angeles missed the front-end of a one-and-one.
The Trojans grabbed the rebound and swiftly moved the ball down the court where Payne launched a 28-foot 3-pointer that clanked off the front of the rim, giving the Riders the victory.
Senior guard Macy Walker led Port Angeles with 12 points, four steals and four assists.
“Macy Walker had an outstanding overall game, scoring in every quarter and playing solid help defense,” Riders coach Michael Poindexter said.
Johnson finished with eight points and led Port Angeles with seven rebounds, while Hinrichs finished seven points and four assists and Shayla Northern had seven rebounds to go along with three points.
Mariah Frazier scored just five points, but had three steals and played a big role in the Riders’ defense.
“Ashli Payne had to work hard for her 19 points,” Poindexter said. “Mariah Frazier and Kylee Jeffers defended her well for the first three quarters.
“Down by three points after three quarters, we went into a zone for most of the fourth quarter and held Olympic to four points in the quarter.
“The group playing the zone to finish the game played solid team defense and took Olympic out of their offensive rhythm.”
After its offense sputtered for most of the second quarter, Port Angeles finished the period with an important 5-0 run.
“We got a nice momentum boost at the end of the first half,” Poindexter said.
“We were down 18-15 when Shayla Northern hit a three-pointer, and soon after Payton Lee picked up a lay-in at the very end of the half, sending us to the locker room up by two.”
Although it was a nice win to head into the playoffs with, especially since they were without starting post Bailee Jones — the Riders didn’t play a perfect game.
“Our one problem area of the game was missing uncontested lay-ins — we missed five as a team — and taking off-balance, low-percentage lay-ins — five more of those [were misses],” Poindexter said.
“Had we taken better shots some of those times and made the easy ones, the game wouldn’t have been quite the nail-biter it ended up being.”
Because Bremerton also lost Friday — 50-46 at Kingston — Olympic finished the season tied with the Knights for second place in the Olympic League.