The Black Hills High School girls basketball team took home a trophy.
It’s not necessarily the one the Wolves wanted, but any bitter tastes will fade.
The eighth-ranked Wolves had trouble finding the basket on Saturday morning, and lost, 50-28, to Washougal to place sixth in the Class 2A state tournament.
“Once the loss wears off, we’ll be OK,” Black Hills coach Tanya Greenfield said. “That was a tough one. We’ll recognize how special it is and how important it is that we’re the No. 6 team in the state.”
Sixth is the best finish that Black Hills has had at the Yakima Valley SunDome in its three appearances. It went two-and-out in 2009 and 2010.
The Wolves took second in 1999 in their first state appearance, when the tournament was held in Tacoma. That’s the best finish in school history. The program has placed at the 2A state tournament five times.
“I’m still glad that we had a chance and fought for it,” junior guard Emma Duff said.
Washougal — which Black Hills beat in the Southwest District 4 semifinals in February — took fourth.
The Panthers led from the opening basket Saturday, and outscored the Wolves, 24-7, in the second half.
Alyssa Blankenship (14 points, 14 rebounds) and Beyonce Bea (10 points, 11 rebounds) recorded double-doubles for the Panthers.
For the second day in a row, the Wolves were without 5-foot-11 freshman forward Maisy Williams, who left the tournament Thursday due to a previously scheduled extracurricular activity.
Duff said Williams’ absence was the biggest difference between the last matchup against Washougal and this one.
“Not having Maisy, we didn’t get as many rebounds, and it was harder to play with their tall players,” Duff said. “We knew we were going to struggle.”
The Panthers outrebounded the Wolves, 47-40, capitalized on second-chance points, and clogged the paint at the other end.
The Wolves finished 8 of 50 (16 percent) from the floor. No Black Hills player reached double digits. Duff — who averaged 18.8 points entering the tournament — scored five points, while Taylor Patti led the Wolves with eight.
“Even though it’s disappointing, there’s always next year,” Duff said. “And I think we’re going to have the same mindset, and we’re going to want to come back.”
Black Hills will return the core of its offense next season, with Duff, Williams and sophomore Lindsey Nurmi. The Wolves finished this season at 22-5.
Washougal 15 11 9 15_50
No. 8 Black Hills 5 16 1 6_28
W: Bea 10, Thomas 6, Allen 4, Lenczowski 2, Blankenship 14, Hungerford 9, Cross 5
BH: Patti 8, Payne 2, Duff 5, Nurmi 3, Maloney 7, Reichert 3