It was about the best return Adna girls basketball could have hoped for.
Coach Chris Bannish and his Pirates hit the court for the first time in 17 days, snapped visiting Toledo’s eight-game win streak with a 44-41 victory and secured the Central 2B League’s No. 2 seed on Thursday afternoon.
Due to COVID protocol, the undefeated Pirates had not played a game since a May 17 non-league victory over Willapa Valley.
There were some signs of rust Thursday for the Pirates as they faced a red-hot Indians team that entered on a long win streak. While Adna was trying to find its footing, Toledo was playing its third game in four days.
“I’ll give both teams credit,” Bannish said. “That’s their third game this week. We haven’t played in 17 days, no excuses. Gym’s hot, middle of the day and nobody complained.”
The Indians led 13-11 after one, then reeled off a 7-0 run to start the second quarter and take a 20-11 lead.
Adna came firing back, breaking off a 14-6 run to end the half, fueled by two big 3-pointers by sophomore Brooklyn Loose off the bench, to help the Pirates cut the deficit to 26-25 heading into the locker room.
The intense, full-court press battle carried throughout the game with the Indians leading 36-34 going into the final quarter.
Toledo built up a four-point lead with two minutes to go as the Pirates missed six consecutive shots at the charity stripe before sophomore Karlee Von Moos sank two free throws to pull the Pirates within two with 1:58 remaining.
Thirty seconds later, junior Kaylin Todd hit two more free throws to tie it up at 41-41 with 1:26 to play. Todd then knocked in the go-ahead shot on a contested layup along the baseline to make it 43-41 with 25 seconds to go, and Brooklyn Loose jumped an Indians’ pass on the next possession to seal the victory.
“When we play a team like Brian (Layton’s), that’s a team we respect,” Bannish said. “Every game we’ve played against them in the last two or three years has been similar to this. They are battle tested.”
Todd, who has taken over as the Pirates’ primary ball handler this year, led all scorers with 18 points on 46% shooting (6-for-13) to go with four assists and two steals.
“She hasn’t had the ball in her hands a lot because we had Payton Aselton,” Bannish said. “Now the ball’s in her hands and you can see how good of a player she can be.”
Junior Faith Wellander added 10 points, seven rebounds and two steals, while junior Summer White had six points and a team-high eight rebounds and Brooklyn Loose tallied six points and two blocks. Von Moos finished with seven boards and three steals.
“We do have basketball players here in Adna now,” Bannnish said. “When I first got here, it was more athletes playing basketball. But now they make basketball plays that I don’t have to call a timeout to make an adjustment. They can make adjustments on the fly.”
Toledo was led by Marina Smith’s fiery long-range shooting, finishing with a team-high 15 points, which included 5-from-8 from downtown.
Greenlee Clark added eight points, which included a 3-pointer, and Emma Cline-Maier added six points with 2-for-2 shooting from the charity stripe.
Senior standout post Stacie Spahr was held to seven points on 3-of-5 shooting.
“They are as strong, physically, as a team you’ll see in the league,” Bannish said. “You can tell they’ve spent time in the weight room as well.”
Adna (7-0, 5-0) hosts Winlock at 5:45 p.m. Friday for a share of the league title; which would be their first in at least nine years, Bannish said.
The Pirates then host the C2BL’s No. 9 seed at 7 p.m. Monday in the opening round of districts.
Toledo (8-3, 7-3 league) gets the No. 4 seed and will host the Pacific League’s No. 5 seed at 7 p.m. on Monday.
Rainier used a big second half with an attacking offense and a vicious rebounding effort to hand Onalaska a 56-35 defeat in 2B Central League action Thursday in Onalaska.
The win clinches the Mountaineers the C2BL’s No. 3 seed, while the Loggers get the No. 5 seed heading into the district tourney on Monday.
On Thursday, Faith Boesch led all scorers with 14 points, which included four 3-pointers, and Kaeley Schultz added 11 to help Rainier outgun Ony in the second half.
“We started off with some defensive pressure and played decent defense,” Onalaska coach Alana Olson said. “But we got beat off the dribble in the second half and they crashed the boards pretty well. We gave up way too many and they attacked the lane.”
The Loggers were still in it at the half, trailing just 27-20, but a poor night of shooting (26% from the field) was too much to overcome.
“It was not what I was hoping for,” Olson said. “We knew Rainier was a good team but I was hoping we could finish league on a better note.”
The Loggers were led by Callie Lawrence’s 13 points, while Brooklyn Sandridge and Dakota Hamilton each added eight.
Onalaska (6-5) travels to the Pacific League’s No. 4 seed on Monday. Rainier (9-5) hosts the Pacific’s No. 6 seed on Monday.