By Dan Trujillo
The Columbia River girls basketball team defeated league champion Washougal 50-45 in the first round of the 2A district tournament Friday.
Beyonce Bea led the Panthers with 24 points and 11 rebounds. Skylar Bea added eight points and eight boards. Tiana Barnett netted eight points off the bench and Maggie Hungerford finished with five.
This was all the offense Washougal got in a tightly contested playoff game. The Chieftains outscored the Panthers 17-7 in the fourth quarter to earn the victory.
“We tightened up when the pressure was on,” said Washougal head coach Britney Knotts. “Numbers, records, seeding … none of that matters anymore. Playoffs are a whole new season.”
Beyonce Bea scored eight points out of the gate, and Hungerford delivered a 3-pointer, to help Washougal build a 13-8 advantage in the first quarter.
The Panthers increased their lead to 19-12 after a three by Bea in the second quarter. Columbia River scored seven in a row to tie the contest. Washougal went back up by two points before halftime.
The Chieftains kicked off the third quarter with a three to lead for the first time in the game. Barnett came off the bench and scored six points. Bea hit a turnaround jumper to put the Panthers up by five going into the final quarter.
Columbia River kept Washougal scoreless for two minutes, and tied it up at 38-38. McKinley Stotts made a nice pass to Barnett for two, and Skylar Bea scored two points off an in-bounds pass, but the Chieftains never quit.
“We were trying to pull away, and they just kept answering,” Knotts said.
Columbia River earned some breathing room on an “and one” in the final minutes. The Chieftains increased their lead to five at the foul line before time expired.
Washougal faces Hockinson in a loser out game Monday, at R.A. Long High School. Tipoff is at 6 pm.
“It’s hard to beat a team three times. And now, we have to turn around and play Hockinson for the third time,” Knotts said. “This will be a good test, for sure.”
Photos by Dan Trujillo