Bader, a 5-foot-10 senior, scored 12 of her team’s 16 fourth-quarter points and secured a key rebound on a teammate’s free-throw miss to deny the Bears a chance for a last-second, game-winning shot.
Bader led all scorers with 20 points on 10-for-14 shooting.
“That’s what seniors do,” said Olympia coach Rod Tripp, who starts freshman Jenna Randich – who led the Bears with 16 points – and four sophomores. “It was our game to win … we didn’t finish well.”
The victory for Yelm (4-2, 1-1 league) eased the sting of a five-point loss to Central Kitsap on Tuesday in the Tornados’ Narrows opener.
“This was a big win from a league standpoint,” Yelm coach Russ Riches said. “We let one get away Tuesday.”
Randich and Laura Snodgrass scored all of Olympia’s points in the first quarter as the Bears took a 13-11 lead.
Olympia (3-2, 0-1) took its biggest lead of the first half at 24-14 on a 3-pointer by Randich. But Yelm got it back to 26-22 at the half after consecutive 3s by McKaiela Tyler and Tessa Matthews.
It was a theme that repeated itself through three quarters: Olympia would extend its lead only to have Yelm inch back close.
Yelm took its first lead since the first quarter on a basket down low by Bader, who scored eight points in a 9-1 Yelm run to open the fourth that pushed the Tornados up 42-38.
This time, it was Oly who inched back as the clock ticked down. The first of two free throws by Randich cut the Bears’ deficit to one point. Two Bader hoops were followed by a Randich 3-pointer with 13.4 seconds left, and Yelm led 46-44.
Anushka Maldonado hit the first of two free throws to make it 47-44, and after she missed the second shot Bader came up with the ball.
Maldonado closed the scoring out with two free throws.
Olympia 63, Yelm 28: Brendan Leonard scored 12 points to lead 10 Bears who scored in the win over the Tornados.