STATE BASKETBALL: Neah Bay girls ditch Wilbur-Creston-Keller to reach semifinals

Play Crosspoint at 7:15 p.m. Friday for spot in state championship game

SPOKANE — Neah Bay overcame a frigid first half and rode its relentless defensive intensity to a 59-42 Class 1B state girls basketball tournament quarterfinal victory over No. 7 Wilbur-Creston-Keller at the Spokane Arena.

The Red Devils will tackle will Crosspoint of Bremerton (23-3) in the semifinals Friday at 7:15 p.m. in Neah Bay’s next step in its quest for a repeat state championship.The Warriors beat Oakesdale 42-41 earlier Thursday.

Neah Bay defeated Crosspoint 64-44 at home on Dec. 9.

The Red Devils struggled mightily from the floor in the first half, shooting just 7.41 percent on two-point tries (2-for-27) and 15 percent overall (5-for-33), but they put Thursday’s game out of reach out of the halftime break, going on a 10-2 run sparked by two baskets by Angel Halttunen over the first 3:06 of the third quarter to take a 30-15 lead.

Q Greene also knocked down a pair of 3s, including a buzzer-beater to end the third, and put Neah Bay up 21 entering the fourth quarter. Greene also hit a trey to end WCK’s run and steady the Red Devils in the second quarter.

Neah Bay never trailed against the Wildcats on Thursday night, but the Red Devils were challenged by offensive miscues against WCK’s tight 2-3 zone, such as missed shots, turnovers and offensive fouls through the first half. After a good start, including eight points by Cerise Moss, the Red Devils allowed a 9-0 WCK run that tied the game at 11-11 in the second quarter.

Extra possessions were in Neah Bay’s favor. The Red Devils controlled the glass 49-32, including a four-offensive-rebound, five-shot possession capped by an Ezrah Ray basket to make it 20-13 at halftime.

Neah Bay 59, Wilbur-Creston-Keller 42

WCK 8 5 10 19 — 42

Neah Bay 11 9 24 15 — 59

Wilbur-Creston-Keller (42) Neilsen 15, Brashears 9, Timentwa 9, Moore 3, Maioho 3, Bennett 2, Smoger 1.

Neah Bay (59) Q. Greene 14, R. Moss 11, Ce. Moss 9, Martin 7, A. Halttunen 6, Ray 6, Swan 4, McGimpsey 2, Ca. Moss, D. Halttunen.

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