Megan River’s back was sore. She hadn’t scored a point all night.
Kennedi Greenfield was in double figures, on her way to a season-high 12 points, but her points had come on post moves and free throws.
With their sixth-ranked Black Hills High School girls basketball team needing to fend off a surprising late-game comeback by visiting Hockinson, both players came through with critical outside shots.
The Wolves prevailed, 59-51, in the first round of the 2A Southwest District tournament Friday night to advance.
Hockinson, the No. 3 seed out of the 2A Greater St. Helen’s League, trailed by as many as 14 points during the first half and was still down seven entering the fourth quarter.
But the Hawks staged a 9-2 run to start the final period.
They tied it on a milestone basket by senior guard Payton Wangler, who connected on a 3-pointer from the right wing to bring the game level at 47-47.
The basket gave Wangler, who led Hockinson in scoring with 14, a total of 1,002 points for her career.
But when the Hawks missed two chances to take the lead, River and Greenfield went to work.
With just under three minutes to go, River drained a 3-pointer off a kick-out pass from Greenfield, then twice made the second of two free throws to give Black Hills a 52-47 lead.
After a pair of Ellie Kistler free throws made it a one-possession game again, Greenfield knocked down a jumper from the corner.
“She’s been around the game a lot so she knows when to raise it up,” said Greenfield’s coach and mom Tanya Greenfield. “She’s been working on her outside shot and her first step so it kind of came together tonight.”
Kennedi Greenfield agreed it was a case of preparation meeting opportunity.
“Me and Megan have been working together on shooting all week,” Kennedi Greenfield said. “Coach said during a timeout we needed one more basket and a few stops.”
River was open on the Wolves next possession, with 34 seconds to play, and buried a 3-pointer from the right corner early on in the possession.
“One of our coaches was yelling, ‘No,’ and I might have been too,” Tanya Greenfield said. “I did want us to back it out, not because I’m not confident in Megan, but because the situation called for it.”
Instead, the situation became an eight-point lead with no time for Hockinson to rally again.
“We’ve been doing better at calming down through the pressure,” Kennedi Greenfield said. “I felt like we controlled the game the whole time.”
“When you win by lot it helps your confidence, but it’s better to get confidence from winning close games,” River added.
Forward Maisy Williams continued her productive return from injury, scoring 12 points. Alexa Bovenkamp also reached double digits with 10 for Black Hills.
“We were doing well without Maisy, but now that we’re all back together its flowing. We feel a lot better,” Kennedi Greenfield said.
Black Hills (17-4) moves on to play Columbia River (12-10) in the semifinals at 6 p.m. Monday night Mark Morris High School.
At Mark Morris 59, Centralia 41: The Monarchs knocked off the Tigers at home in a first-round matchup.
Centralia (13-8) plays Woodland (12-9) in a loser-out game at 7:45 p.m. Monday at Mark Morris.
At No. 1 W.F. West 88, Woodland 35: The top-ranked team in 2A continued its dominat run toward the state playoffs, routing the Beavers at home.
W.F. West (19-2) plays Mark Morris (16-6) in the semifinals at 7:45 p.m. Monday at R.A. Long High School.
3A WEST CENTRAL/SOUTHWEST GIRLS
At North Thurston 49, Shelton 46: The Rams lost to Shelton during both 3A South Sound Conference meetings, but topped the Highclimbers the third time around, ending their season.
“We had a phenomenal defensive game,” North Thurston coach Jackie Meyer said. “We switched to a different zone defense, trapping them more in the corner.”
Brooklyn Harn scored a game-high 21 points for North Thurston, while Rokki Brown added 15. Kylind Powell led the Highclimbers with 16, while Jasmine Griffin chipped in 14.
“They have two good shooters and put a lot of pressure on Harn to shut her down,” Meyer said. “She did a good job of letting others bring in the ball and being patient.”
The Rams led by five points with two minutes to play, but Shelton moved the ball and converted an easy layup. Meyer said North Thurston managed the clock well down the stretch to seal the win.
“We pressed them, and they couldn’t get the ball in on the last play of the game,” she said. “We are really excited.”
North Thurston (11-11) plays crosstown rival Timberline (15-7) in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday at Foss High School. Timberline won both regular-season meetings.
No. 2 Prairie 70, Timberline 18: Brooke Walling and the Falcons scored early and often to rout the Blazers at Bellarmine Prep in Tacoma.
Walling scored a game-high 21 points, while Cassidy Gardner added 16, and Prairie rolled to a win in the quarterfinals.
Timberline trailed by seven points after the first quarter, but the Falcons opened up a 25-5 run in the second quarter to essentially put the game away by the break.
Prairie combined for 13 3-pointers, led by Gardner, who poured in four shots from beyond the perimeter.
Timberline scored in single digits each quarter, were limited to four field goals in the contest, and never scored more than six points in a single period.
Keshara Romain and Mia Harriott had six points apiece to lead the Blazers.
Timberline (15-7) plays crosstown rival North Thurston (11-11) in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday at Foss High School. Timberline won both regular-season meetings.
Yelm 51, Lakes 43: The Tornados avoided elmination at Washington High School with a win over the Lancers.
Yelm (9-13) advances to play Wilson (14-8) in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday at Clover Park High School.
Note: Reported box scores for local district-playoff games are available at preps.theolympian.com.
Staff writers Lauren Smith and Jordan Whitford contributed to this report.