Jumping out to a 20-4 lead after one quarter, the Rainier girls basketball team held off a late rally from Forks to advance to the 2B District 4 tournament semifinals Tuesday night in Montesano, 58-52.
The Mountaineers led for the entire game, and only allowed 12 points in the first half, but had to withstand a 40-point surge in the second half from the Spartans to win and advance to within a win of state and the district finals.
Rainier will play Napavine next Tuesday at 6 p.m. in Kelso with a spot in the district title on the line.
“We came out really well causing some havoc,” Rainier coach Brandon Eygabroad said. “We disrupted with our press, we played together, sharing the ball and we were just clicking as a team.”
Angelica Askey scored 11 points and dished out eight assists to spearhead the attack, with Brooklynn Swenson scoring 12 and Haleigh Hanson knocking down a pair of 3-pointers and scoring a team-high 15 points.
Bryn Beckman scored eight points, but hauled in 14 massive rebounds that helped hold off a hungry Forks squad.
“The game’s not over until the final buzzer sounds,” Eygabroad said. “It’s important to play 32 minutes of basketball and not let up off the gas. Everyone at this point is a quality opponent and they want to win as much as we do.”
The Mountaineers will take on the Tigers in one semifinal, while Toutle Lake and Adna battle in the other semifinal in an All-C2BL Final Four of districts.
Both games will be at Kelso High School next week.
“They’re a tough opponent,” Eygabroad said of Napavine. “We’re going to have to tighten our defense up and play together on offense. We just have to show up for four quarters.”