Defense sparks Yelm to win

mwochnick@theolympian.comFebruary 13, 2013 

Despite shooting 22 percent from the field, the Yelm Tornados advanced to the quarterfinals of the West Central/Southwest bidistrict girls basketball tournament after a 47-25 home victory over Tahoma on Tuesday night.

Tessa Matthews led all scorers with 12 points, including the first seven points of the game, on 5-for-13 shooting.

Karli Shaw had seven of her eight points in a big third-quarter run, and Anushka Maldonado and McKaiela Tyler had seven points apiece for Yelm. Maldonado also had 17 rebounds, including 13 on defense. Yelm finished with 49 rebounds, including 21 offensive boards.

A 13-2 run in the third quarter helped the 4A Narrows League champion Tornados (18-3 overall) pull away from a 22-20 halftime lead.

Coach Russ Riches credited his team’s defensive effort, especially in the second half, limiting the Bears to five second-half points.

“Defensively, we played pretty well,” Riches said.

The Tornados will face Federal Way, a 52-44 winner over Auburn Riverside, at 7:45 p.m. Friday at Puyallup’s Rogers High School.

2A DISTRICT IV

Mark Morris 60, River Ridge 48: The Hawks held an 18-point lead early in the third quarter over the state’s top-ranked Class 2A team, but the Monarchs scored 14 consecutive points as part of a 23-2 third-quarter run to eventually take the lead and pull away for the win in the district semifinals.

Mark Morris will face W.F. West, a 48-39 winner over Black Hills, for the second consecutive year in the district title game, which is at 6 p.m. Friday at Saint Martin’s University.

The Hawks held a 30-17 advantage at halftime and had their largest lead at 37-19 with two free throws from Savannah McGill, who already was at double figures at halftime with 10 points.

But the Monarchs whittled away at the Hawks’ advantage and, led by 2A Greater St. Helens League co-MVP Kourtney Eaton, went on a 14-0 run over a three-minute stretch to take their first lead at 40-39.

Eaton finished with 13 points, including 11 in that 14-0 run, and her sister, Karley, the other GSHL co-MVP, had 11.

River Ridge, which had its six-game winning streak snapped, will face Hockinson in a loser-out game Saturday at Mark Morris.

1A DISTRICT IV

Rochester 44, Elma 33: The Warriors withstood the fourth-quarter run by the Eagles to win their district consolation game against the 1A SWW Evergreen Division champions.

Rochester (16-7) remains alive in the consolation bracket and will face league-rival Hoquiam at 8 p.m. Thursday at W.F. West High School in a winner-to-regional, loser-out game.

Sophomore Keeli Demers led Rochester with 20 points, and freshman Joni Lancaster had 13 points.

La Center 45, Rainier 40: The Mountaineers had a 10-point lead going into the fourth quarter, but a 10-1 run by La Center helped rally the Trico Division Wildcats, who remained alive in the tournament and eliminated Rainier.

2A DISTRICT IV

Wahkiakum 50, Northwest Christian 39: The Mules ended the Navigators’ season in a loser-out game at Rochester High School.

mwochnick@theolympian.com

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