ONALASKA — Onalaska still had a bad taste in its mouth after a close loss to Winlock last week.
It was a game they felt they should have won and, in the two games after that to end the regular season — wins over Toutle Lake and Kalama — Loggers coach Alana Olson still didn’t feel the team was quite clicking.
So after garnering the Central 2B League’s No. 2 seed and setting up a matchup at home against C2BL’s No. 8 Morton-White Pass in the opening round of the 2B District 4 tournament Saturday, the Loggers wanted to make a statement — and they did.
Onalaska scored 42 points across two quarters and found three double-digit scorers to put away MWP, 68-43, and advance to the district quarterfinals.
“It’s a big relief,” Olson said. “The anticipation of this builds up so just to get out here and get a win feels nice.”
Olson said with her team being favored to win this game — due to being the higher seed — she was pleased with how they responded and didn’t turn it into a trap game.
“I told the girls, everyone starts with a 0-0 record and anything can happen, so I was really happy we came out focused and didn’t take it for granted that we were playing a lower-seeded team,” Olson said.
Olson said the Loggers knew MWP was a scrappy team and wouldn’t go down without a battle.
Ony led by just six after one quarter (17-11) as MWP hung tough and wouldn’t go away. But the Loggers exploded in the second quarter for a 23-7 run and created a big enough cushion to cruise the rest of the way and win comfortably.
Junior Morgan Hamilton led the Loggers with a game-high 18 points to go with nine rebounds and five assists. Junior point guard Brooklyn Sandridge was lethal from long range, knocking down four 3-pointers to finish with 14 points.
“It’s exciting,” Sandridge said. “Our coach told us we wanted to come out with a statement after our last loss to Winlock and I think that’s what we did.”
Senior Callie Lawrence added 12 points and eight rebounds to round out the Loggers trio of double-digit scorers as the Loggers shot 45% (29 of 65) from the field.
“It was important for us to have the offensive game we wanted to, because defense is something we can rely on,” Olson said. “But our offense is up and down, and so that was really the focus tonight, to come out and make a statement offensively.”
Morton-White Pass meanwhile, scored in bunches at times, mainly during a 17-point third quarter, but the T-Wolves struggled to knock down shots when they needed to keep Ony from running away.
Kiera Miller led MWP with a team-high 13 points, while McKenzee Mays added nine and Malia Armstrong contributed seven.
“Kiera Miller had an awesome game,” MWP coach Curt Atkinson said. “She’s getting better and better at that high-post position every game. Natalya (Armstrong) played well, our eighth grader Malia played awesome, McKenzee played well, all of them really.”
Atkinson said the T-Wolves will look to improve their close-out defense and not get taken off the dribble so much, as well as boxing out and rebounding.
“We’ll work on that Monday and come out with a better effort Tuesday,” Atkinson said.
Morton-White Pass plays C2BL No. 6 seed Winlock in the loser's bracket at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at Black Hills High School in a loser-out match.
Onalaska faces 2B Pacific League's No. 3 seed Forks in the quarterfinals at 6 p.m., Tuesday, at a site yet to be determined.