ADNA — Three years ago, the Adna girls basketball team’s game against Mossyrock might have been one of the premier matchups the Central 2B League had to offer, and a dramatic prelude to the upcoming district tournament.
That was then, though, and now, the 2B No. 4 Pirates’ date with the 1B No. 3 Vikings was just an intriguing cross-classification game down the stretch, with Adna holding on for a 58-48 win.
“We needed this,” Adna coach Chris Bannish said. “We needed to be tested. And they needed it, too.”
And while it looked to be done and dusted for a bit, Mossyrock made sure to make its own noise and go down with a fight.
Exactly four minutes into the third quarter, Karlee VonMoos pulled down her 17th rebound of the night and threw the ball up ahead to Gaby Guard, who hit a transition layup to give Adna a 35-23 lead. Two minutes later, Brooklyn Loose drilled a 3-pointer to give the hosts a 25-point cushion, and while it was cut to 20 as the buzzer sounded on the quarter, the Pirates got it back to 24 a minute into the fourth.
That’s when Mossyrock coach Autumn Moorcroft told her team to stop looking at the scoreboard, and focus on themselves, starting with defense.
And the Vikings went running. With 6:15 left on the clock, VonMoos picked up her fourth foul, forcing her to the bench. Mckenna Torrey hit her first free throw and missed her second, but with the Pirates’ leading rebounder out, Mossyrock freshman Renzy Marshall came down with an offensive board and put it back in for a spark of momentum. The next time down the court, Payton Torrey drilled a 3-pointer, and Marshall took the ball right back off the inbounds pass for another easy two points.
VonMoos came back in at that point, but the run continued, with Payton Torrey scoring five points and McKenna Torrey adding two, and suddenly, that 24-point gap that Moorcroft didn’t want her team looking at sat at 50-42.
“Once they got a couple stops and a couple baskets, the girls were like, ‘Oh, wait, we can get back in this really quickly,’” Moorcroft said. “They just got after it. I’m super proud of the fourth-quarter effort.”
The Pirates ultimately got their feet back under them after turning the ball over 10 times in the final quarter alone, and worked the remaining clock down to see the game out.
“We’re so used to running, that’s what we want to do,” Bannish said. “We want to push. But when you’re ahead by 20 with five to go, slow down. Yelling and teaching them how to play fast, and then trying to get them to slow down is very, very hard. We work on it in practice, but we don’t always get that look.”
Danika Hallom led Adna with 19 points. VonMoos added 17 on 8-of-14 shooting, and finished with 20 rebounds, which Bannish had to assume was the program single-game record.
“She works in the weight room, and when she gets a rebound, they don’t usually pull it from her,” he said. “Now, you’ll see her starting to lead the break… She has all the intangibles, and her work ethic on top of that is what makes her great.”
Payton Torrey led all scorers with 26 points, pacing a Mossyrock team without the services of Hailey Brooks down low. Caelyn Marshall scored 10 points of her own.
Now, both the Vikings and Pirates will go into the final week of their respective regular seasons. Mossyrock will face Columbia Adventist on Tuesday, with Adna wrapping up its slate against Onalaska on Wednesday.