Back to Where They Belong: Panthers Play for 3rd Place Saturday
By Dan Trujillo
On Saturday, the Washougal High School girls basketball team will play for third place in the district tournament for the third year in a row.
“After everybody was talking about how many players we lost, to be in the same place we have been the last two years is really special,” said junior Beyonce Bea.
Washougal (18-5) faces Woodland (14-9) in the consolation finals Saturday. Game time and location will be announced Thursday. Only the winner of this game advances to the state tournament.
“Just play hard. Play our hearts out. We have to win or it’s over,” said junior Kiara Cross. “This is our time. We don’t want to stop playing ball.”
Bea scored 24 points and Cross added 13 to help the Panthers defeat Mark Morris 64-49 Wednesday, at Ridgefield High School. It was redemption for Washougal after the Monarchs ended the Panthers’ 12-game winning streak.
“We wanted to beat them so bad, because they stopped our streak,” Cross said. “We had to get them back. It’s personal now.”
Mark Morris hung with Washougal until Cross scored 10 points in the third quarter. She nailed two 3-pointers, and delivered two more baskets off two steals.
“I didn’t even realize what was happening,” Cross said. “I just wanted to go, go go. Keep putting shots up. Play hard defense.”
Tiana Barnett nailed a three to break the tie, before Cross caught fire. McKinley Stotts added a three to give the Panthers a 13-point cushion going into the final quarter.
Bea had another big night. She passed Alyssa Blankenship for second all-time in school history. Bea is up to 1,251 points, 100 away from record holder Krissy Bassett.
Bea thanked the fans for traveling to Ridgefield on Valentine’s Day to watch the Washougal girls play basketball.
“They could be doing something else, but they’re not. That means a lot,” she said. “Everyone’s really energetic, excited and supportive. So, that’s a really fun environment to play around.”
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