The Onalaska girls basketball team took the top-5 ranked Raymond Seagulls to the brink Tuesday night in the 2B District IV semifinals, leading big in the first half, but couldn’t quite complete the upset in a 51-45 loss.
The Loggers couldn’t get enough shots to fall in the second half after a torrid start, and couldn’t contain Washington State basketball signee Kyra Gardner in the second half, with the senior Seagull scoring a game-high 24 points.
But as the Loggers walked off the court, to the chants of Raymond fans shouting “On to state” over and over, newfound inspiration and motivation sprung.
“It's disappointing to lose a close one like that,” Loggers coach Alana Olson said. “But I was never for one second disappointed in our effort.”
The Loggers led 14-6 after the first quarter, thanks to a rugged defense, and held on to a seven-point lead at half, but knew what was coming in the second.
A renewed Gardner and Karsyn Freeman scored 18 combined points in the third quarter, as the Loggers saw their lead erased and had to claw their way back into the game.
“They just came out and knocked down shots,” Olson said. “They were attacking the basket really well and our offense really fell in the second half. We didn’t shoot well. But overall, my girls came out and played their hearts out, I was really proud of our team. Raymond is a great basketball team. They know how to win and how to score.”
The Loggers valiantly fought, and trailed by just three with 30 seconds left, but couldn’t complete the upset bid.
They will play Adna on Thursday, still one win away from a state berth.
Callie Lawrence led the Loggers from start to finish with 14 points and 16 rebounds, and Brooklyn Sandridge was also in double figures with 10 points.
“Callie has a lot of heart and determination,” Olson said. “It didn’t matter from the first minute to the last, she had the same sense of urgency the entire game.”
Though it is not a loser-out game, the state chants from the Seagulls bench have the Loggers more motivated than ever to chant their way to the state tournament with a win against the Pirates on Thursday. But they know they have their work cut out for them.
“Adna’s a very talented team, they have a lot of really good shooters,” Olson said. “It’s going to be a really good matchup. It was a close game when we played at our place, so we’re expecting another battle. We’re really happy with where we are.”