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LYNDEN — A slow first quarter wasn’t too much for Port Angeles to overcome, but a hot start to the fourth quarter by Cedarcrest did the Roughriders in.
The Red Wolves beat Port Angeles 49-38 in a girls basketball 2A regional contest at Lynden High School on Friday night, ending the Roughriders’ season one game short of the state tournament.
Turnovers and poor shooting by Port Angeles helped Cedarcrest build a lead as big as 20-6 early in the second quarter.
But then the Riders stepped up their play on both ends of the floor to get back in the game.
In the third quarter, they got within one point of the Red Wolves.
“Toward the end of the second quarter and throughout the third, we played more consistent defense, took care of the ball better, and shot almost 40 percent from the field,” Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said.
“We felt confident being down by only three going into the fourth quarter.”
But Susan Kenney and Kalee Fowler both hit 3-pointers early in the fourth — the only 3s of the game for Cedarcrest — to provide a cushion, and then the Red Wolves’ lead again reached double figures as they finished the game by going 7 for 9 at the free-throw line.
“Our goal was to avoid putting them on the free-throw line, but their 13-for-19 free-throw performance — compared to our 4-for-10 total — was one significant factor in the outcome,” Poindexter said.
In her final game with Port Angeles, Macy Walker had team-highs with 11 points and four steals.
Junior Maddy Hinrichs added 10 more points.
Walker and Hinrichs shot nearly 50 percent from the field combined, but the rest of the Riders struggled offensively, only making 6 of 28 shots.
Port Angeles’ other two seniors found other ways to contribute.
“Mariah Frazier played outstanding help defense inside,” Poindexter said.
“Shayla Northern had another outstanding rebounding game for us, leading with eight rebounds, five of which were offensive boards.
“We felt they were vulnerable to giving up offensive rebounds, and indeed we picked up 14 offensive rebounds, [while] Cedarcrest had only seven.”
Leading all scorers
Kenney led all scorers with 19 points.
“[Her] dribble penetration caused problems for us, even when our best defenders were on her,” Poindexter said.
Kailyn Campbell, who Poindexter said is “one of the top two post players we saw all year,” scored 14 points and pulled down 14 boards.
The 3-pointer that Fowler made early in the fourth quarter were the only points she scored in the game.
The Riders, who won the Olympic League by a whopping three games, reached the regional round of the postseason for the third consecutive year.
“While we are disappointed not to be back in the state tournament this year, we recognize the success we did have,” Poindexter said.
“This year’s girls worked hard to win the Olympic League championship and continually set high goals for themselves and their teammates.”
Although they won’t be returning to Yakima, Poindexter realizes that making regionals is itself a noteworthy accomplishment.
“Three of the teams at state last year — including Clarkston and East Valley of Yakima, the first and second-place teams — did not qualify for regional play this year,” he said.
“Only two teams from last year’s final eight, W.F. West and Burlington-Edison, will play in this year’s tournament.”
Walker, Frazier and Northern were crucial to Port Angeles’ success this season, but Hinrichs, the team’s leading scorer, will be back next season along with other key contributors Bailee Jones, Krista Johnson, Payton Lee and Kyle Jeffers.
The Riders also will have a handful of players who split the season between the varsity and JV squads returning, such as juniors Jolene Millsap and Lenora Hofer, and freshmen Maddie Boe and Hayley Baxley.
Port Angeles 38
Cedarcrest 14 9 7 19— 49
Port Angeles 6 10 11 11— 38
Fowler 3, Stauffer 9, Deming 2, Campbell 14, Kenney 19, McKinney 2.
Port Angeles (38)
Frazier 3, Hinrichs 10, Northern 4, Walker 11, Johnson 7, Jones 3.