Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News                                Forks’ Parker Browning is fouled as he drives the lane against La Center’s Joe Bork (10) and Jake Wise (5).

Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News Forks’ Parker Browning is fouled as he drives the lane against La Center’s Joe Bork (10) and Jake Wise (5).

DISTRICT BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Long road ends for Forks; PA girls finish fourth; Clallam Bay makes regionals

By Pierre LaBossiere

and Michael Carman

Peninsula Daily News

ROCHESTER — Forks’ district playoff run came to an end one game short of the state regional round with a 58-46 loss against a tough La Center team that has gotten red-hot in the postseason.

“We didn’t shoot a good percentage and they went to the free-throw line a lot,” said coach Rick Gooding.

“We knew they [La Center] were going to be a tough out,” he said. He said the Spartans managed to keep the score within six points in the third quarter, but La Center was able to pull away down the stretch.

La Center, ranked No. 9 in the WIAA’s RPI for 1A boys, came into the game having won two other District 4 1A basketball tournament games against Stevenson and Montesano by a combined 48 points and taking Evergreen 1A champion Hoquaim to three overtimes before losing.

Forks went to the free-throw line just nine times, making eight, while La Center went to the line 33 times, making 23.

“It was a physical game, [Forks post player] Marky [Adams] always has a couple of guys hanging on him,” Gooding said.

Gooding said he thinks his players were a bit tired by their playoff run. Because Forks is an isolated community, the Spartans had to travel a total of 1,300 miles to play four playoff games in seven days.

“Our guys did not quit, but you tell they were beat up, they were tired,” Gooding said.

“Not too many guys left the court with much left to give,” he said.

Adams led the Spartans with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Parker Browning scored 10 points with six rebounds.

It was a successful year for the Spartans. Forks’ season ends with a 16-8 record, a second-place finish in the Evergreen 1A League and two playoff wins.

The Spartans will graduate Adams, Browning, Jeffery Schumack, Keishaun Ramsey, Daniel Maxfield and Carlos Tejano. Gooding said these are great kids and he was glad to see how much excitement they created in the Forks community this season after the Spartans have endured some tough years.

La Center 58, Forks 46

La Center 15 15 11 17 — 58

Forks 11 10 12 13 — 46

La Center (58) — Seter 20, Wise 17, Ecklund 14, Baher 2, Bork 2, Eastman 2.

Forks (46) — Adams 24, Browning 10, Prose 6, Baysinger 3, Ramsey 3.

Girls Basketball Port Angeles girls fourth

TACOMA — Port Angeles struggled with its shot for the second straight Class 2A West Central District Tournament game, falling 40-33 to Franklin Pierce to earn fourth place.

The district seed is meaningless this year thanks to the state’s adoption of the RPI. The Roughriders will likely be seeded 15th in the 16-team regional round unless upsets occur to higher-ranked teams.

Against the Cardinals on Saturday, Port Angeles settled for too many outside shots in the early going and missed too many inside and at the free-throw line as the game wore on.

“Mentally, emotionally, we didn’t act like scoring was fun,” Riders coach Michael Poindexter said.

“We got to the line, we got to the rim, we just couldn’t hit them. It felt like a pretty strong regression to how we were playing in December. We just blew too many layins.”

Nizhoni Wheeler scored 12 for Port Angeles and Gracie Long added nine points. Poindexter said Long’s performance was the team’s highlight offensively.

Alexius Foster scored 22 points to lead Franklin Pierce.

Poindexter said Foster is the district’s best scoring guard.

“Teams do all sorts of different things to try and stop her,” Poindexter said.

“I actually liked how we did against her. “We exhibited a lot of effort on defense from Cheyenne Wheeler, Gracie Long and Natalie Steinman all double-teaming her.”

Poindexter thinks the Riders (13-10) will likely head to Eastern Washingto for their regional contest.

“If there are no upsets in the three remaining games, we will get East Valley Spokane (15-6).

Franklin Pierce 40, Port Angeles 33

Port Angeles 12 4 9 8 — 33

Franklin Pierce 6 16 11 7 — 40

Port Angeles (33) — N. Wheeler 12, Long 9, Brady 4, C. Wheeler 4, Steinman 4, Politika, McGuffey, D. Wenzl, Lunt, Gray, Edwards.

Franklin Pierce (40) — Foster 22, Meach 8, Maynard 4, Cook 2, Porter 2, Ehrman 1.

White River 42, Port Angeles 31

TACOMA — The Roughriders hung tough with the Hornets but went cold from the field and the free-throw line in the second half and fell in the West Central District Semifinals at Foss High School on Thursday.

White River (22-2) is ranked No. 3 in the state’s RPI index.

“One thing we will gain from the game is the knowledge that we can defend nearly any team in the state well enough to give us a chance to win,” Port Angeles coach Michael Poindexter said.

“But the thing we still have to learn is to attack on offense with the same confidence and toughness that we have on defense. There were signs throughout the game that we’re making progress in that area, and hopefully we’ll continue to do so in the rest of our tournament games.”

Port Angeles trailed 23-18 at halftime against the Hornets, but cold shooting cut down the Riders’ chances at taking the lead in the third quarter.

“In the second half, we were 2 for 9 [shooting] from inside, which really hurt us as we were trying to pull even with them, or go ahead. In addition to the second-half shooting woes, we were 1-14 from the free-throw line in the game. Six or seven more free throws and two more made shots would have made it roughly an even game.”

Poindexter said the Hornets’ Kendall Bird made an impact inside defensively.

“A major factor in our second-half struggles in scoring was the defensive presence of Kendall Bird.”

Bird, who has committed to play for the University of San Diego at the NCAA Division I- level, scored 12 of her 17 points in the first half.

“We allowed Bird quite a few drives in the first half, but played much better defense on her in the second half,” Poindexter said.

“We did a pretty good job of defending their outside shooting, as they hit only one three-point shot on us all night.”

Port Angeles held White River to its second-lowest scoring output of the season, 24 points off its season scoring average.

“Our rebounding was a strength for us, as they didn’t get many second-chance points,” Poindexter said.

“Offensively, a few turnovers resulting in quick scores for them, along with free-throw shooting and second-half field-goal shooting struggles, cost us a chance to win the game.

Gracie Long had an outstanding game for us on both ends of the floor, as did Nizhoni Wheeler.”

White River 42, Port Angeles 31

Port Angeles 8 10 5 8— 42

White River 14 9 9 10— 31

Port Angeles (31) — N. Wheeler 8, Long 7, C. Wheeler 6, Brady 3, Steinman 2, McGuffey 2, Edwards 2, Politika 1, Wenzl, Lunt, Gray, Wenzl.

White River (42) — Bird 17, S. Lavinder 8, G. Lavinder 5, L. Norris 4, J. Norris 4, Narawlski 2, Cash 2,

Clallam Bay 49, Cedar Park Christian (MLT) 46, OT

MOUNTLAKE TERRACE — The Bruins clinched a state regional berth with an upset win over the Lions (20-2).

Details were not reported.

Clallam Bay (15-5) will play for a shot at the state tournament in Spokane next Friday or Saturday.

DISTRICT BASKETBALL ROUNDUP: Long road ends for Forks; PA girls finish fourth; Clallam Bay makes regionals
Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News Forks’ Parker Browning is fouled as he drives the lane against La Center’s Joe Bork (10) and Jake Wise (5).

Lonnie Archibald/for Peninsula Daily News Forks’ Parker Browning is fouled as he drives the lane against La Center’s Joe Bork (10) and Jake Wise (5).

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