Mossyrock had no idea what to expect in Thursday’s matchup against an unknown Mary M. Knight team in the opening round of the 1B District 4 playoffs.
It didn’t matter as the Vikings were able to pull off a 69-64 victory over the Owls in Elma to clinch their first district victory since losing in the 2B state title game five years ago.
“We didn’t play that well at all, to be honest, but the kids fought through some foul trouble and some circumstances we couldn’t control and did just enough to escape with the win,” Mossyrock head coach Adam Deck said.
Deck’s goal all season long was to use suffocating defense, keep teams in the low 50s in scoring and not have to get into a shootout with opponents. Thursday’s victory wasn’t the defensive performance he had hoped for.
“We have to get better defensively if we want to be good consistently,” Deck said. “I’m not comfortable trying to outscore teams.”
Junior Gunner Mulligan found himself in foul trouble and played about two full quarters but still put on a show with a team-high 26 points to go with 10 steals and five rebounds.
Zack Munos continued his impressive freshman campaign with 15 points and five rebounds, and steady senior Tryn Thompson chipped in nine points and 10 crucial rebounds.
Mossyrock improves to 11-5 overall and will face 1B Coastal League champion Willapa Valley at 7:30 p.m., Monday, at Oakville High School.
Mossyrock is 0-2 against Valley, losing 65-55 on May 18 and 63-58 on May 26.
If we don’t dedicate ourselves to playing better defense, Valley will put 80 on us,” Deck said. “We have to be better.”