PORT ANGELES — Needing a win to possibly boost their district tournament seeding and to head into the playoffs on a positive note, the Port Angeles girls basketball team got a critical steal from Paige Mason in the final seconds and a dramatic fourth-quarter performance from Anna Petty to hold off Bainbridge 39-35.
It was the second extremely low-scoring affair between the Roughriders and Spartans this season, with a game earlier in the year won by Bainbridge 33-25.
Port Angeles needed the win Saturday to claim undisputed second place in the Olympic League. The victory could also help the Riders land a higher seed in the district tournament.
Playing without Petty, who injured her knee late in Thursday’s game against Sequim and had to be carried off the court, the Riders used tough defense to build up a 22-14 lead over the Spartans midway through the third quarter.
Bainbridge respondend with nine straight points to briefly take a 23-22 lead early in the fourth quarter. Then with six minutes left in the game, Petty made a Willis Reed-like entry into the game after sitting all afternoon with a sore knee. She immediately contributed a basket, and in only six minutes of play, scored six points and also had a couple of crucial assists. More importantly, she also gave the Riders a huge emotional spark.
“Anna Petty … immediately made an impact. She and Paige Mason led a 14-5 run over the next four-and-a-half minutes,” said coach Michael Poindexter.
The Riders seemingly had the game in hand, up 37-28 after a Petty basket with about a two minutes to play. But Bainbridge responded again, scoring seven straight points, including a clutch 3-pointer by Bella Ramirez, to cut the Port Angeles lead to 38-35 with 20 seconds left.
The Spartans fouled and Piper Williams wasn’t able to hit her free throws. As Bainbridge brought the ball into the frontcourt looking for a possible game-tying shot, Mason made a steal at the sideline with 10 seconds left. Balancing on one foot as she was falling out of bounds, she got the ball to Lindsey Smith, who was quickly fouled. Smith made one free throw to put the game at a two-possession margin at 39-35 with 1.8 seconds left.
Mason had a great overall game with 13 points and nine rebounds. She also made four straight free throws in the fourth quarter. Sisters Lexie and Lindsay Smith each ran down Bainbridge players from behind on fast breaks and blocked what appeared to be easy Spartan baskets.
Williams finished with nine rebounds, while Lindsay Smith had eight points. Lexie Smith had seven rebounds and three assists.
Port Angeles is done with its regular season at 11-9 (11-3 in league) and awaits postseason seeding. The District 2/3 tournament begins Feb. 14. Sequim will be a top-three seed while Port Angeles is hoping it can host a first-round game.
Port Angeles 39, Bainbridge 35
BB 7 3 10 15 — 35
PA 9 7 6 17 — 39
Bainbridge (35) — Ramirez 15, Cajune 7, Ramadan 5, Berry 3, Grejwe, Bounketh 2, Moore 1.
Port Angeles (39) — Mason 13, Lindsay Smith 8, Petty 6, Lexie Smith 4, Clark 3, Felton 2, Rognlien 2, Williams 1.