Lady Senators fall short in title game

Chad Fleetwood, Special Correspondent

West Washington hosted Trinity Lutheran Saturday night for the sectional 62 championship game. The Lady Senators struggled to put points on the board early in the contest and never managed to settle into a rhythm offensively en route to a lopsided 21-point loss to the Lady Cougars, 55-34.

WW got out to a 4-0 advantage early on a bucket and pair of free throws by Chelsea Carter. However, those would prove to be the only points the Lady Senators could muster in the opening frame. Trinity Lutheran scored 13 in the first period to give the Lady Cougars a nine-point cushion at the top of the second stanza.

Points proved to be a precious commodity for both teams in the first half. West Washington tightened up defensively in the second quarter, giving up just three points in the period while scoring seven to trim the deficit down to five. The teams headed to the locker rooms at halftime with Trinity Lutheran in front 16-11.

WW Head Coach Darrin Russell said the stumble out of the gate wasn’t something he saw coming. “We couldn’t have gotten off to a much worse start. That’s one of the things we talked about was coming out and setting the tone early and being on our home floor with our home crowd. We came out and couldn’t throw it in the ocean, had several turnovers right off the bat, and many of them were unforced turnovers. Just not the start that you want or would expect with the veteran players that we’ve got.”

Russell was happy to see his squad battle through and turn things around in the second quarter. “We did fight back. The second quarter I thought we played extremely well. We really played hard defensively and held them to three points and cut the lead down at the half. And that’s what we talked about again, coming out and setting the tone in the first few minutes of the third quarter. And again, we did not come out and do that in the third quarter.

“Offensively we were stagnant all night, we didn’t move. We talked and talked and talked about going at their big girls inside cause they wanted to block shots…do a shot fake, do and up-and-under and  get them in foul trouble, and we did not do that.”

The slow start to the second half of the game doomed the Lady Senators. Trinity Lutheran won the third quarter 20-15, and extended the lead to double digits. Trinity pulled away in the fourth frame by outscoring WW by 11 points, 19-8. The Lady Cougars did most of their damage from the charity stripe. Trinity Lutheran shot 38 free throws in the contest, making 30 of those attempts. The Lady Senators got to the foul line just 16 times in the game, converting 11 attempts. At one point in the second half, WW had been whistled for 10 fouls while Trinity Lutheran can been called for just two fouls. 

Even though the ending wasn’t what the team was hoping for, Russell said his team had a lot to be proud of. “We had a good season, a really good season. Our four seniors, we talked about how they have built this program. When they started I think they won three or four games their first year and the last two years they’ve won 16 in successive seasons. They’ve put West Washington in a place it wasn’t at when they came in. And I’m proud of them, they gave us everything they could. I’m just sorry we couldn’t get a championship for them.”

Kassidy Keltner led the charge for the Lady Senators with 13 points and Carter finished with six. Maddie Bowsman and Rian Russell chipped in four points each.  Taylor Foutch had three, Cora Miller and Hattie Griffitts finished with two points each in the loss.

Trinity Lutheran’s Abby Hackman finished with a game-high 14 points. Savanna Harweger had 12 and Sydney Jaynes scored 11 as three Lady Cougars finished in double-digits.

West Washington reached the championship game after drawing a first-round bye and defeating Shawe Memorial by 14 points in the semi-final round last Friday night, 63-49. The Lady Senators played the hill topppers to a draw in the first period, 11-11, but outscored their opponents 18-14 in the second frame to hold a four-point lead at the break, 29-25. Shawe Memorial managed to whittle WW’s lead down to two points by the end of the third quarter, but the Lady Senators were able to put the game away with a surge in the final stanza. WW scored 20 points in the fourth period and held the Hilltoppers to 8 en route to a 63-49 victory. The Lady Seantors finished the season with an overall record of 16-9.

West Washington.....4....7....15....8....34

Trinity Lutheran...13....3....20...19....55

WW: Griffitts 2, Russell 4, Carter 6, Bowsman 4, Keltner 13, Miller 2, Foutch 3.

TL: Goecker 6, Harweger 12, Acton 9, Jaynes 11, Hackman 14, Bell 2, Maschino 1.

3-pt goals: Foutch, Goecker, Acton, Janes.

FT: WW 11-16; TL 30-38.


Friday, Feb. 2 at West Washington

West Washington 11 18 14 20—63

Shawe Memorial 11 14 16 8—49

WW:Keltner 18, Carter 15, Bowsman 10, Miller 7, Griffitts 6, Russell 5, Foutch 2.

SM: Grote 22, Hesse 20, McAllister 7, 

3-pt. goals: Carter, Grote 4.


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