Wednesday Prep Roundup: Elma out of sorts in loss to Wahkiakum

Also: Raymond’s Villalpando hits game-winner to beat Ocosta; Elma boys hit fouls shots to beat Tenino


Wahkiakum 56, Elma 45

It started with a sprained ankle, and got worse from there.

On a night where fate seemed to be against them, the Elma Eagles were upset by the Wahkiakum Mules 56-45 on Wednesday in Elma.

Elma, which had finally got back to full health with the return of key players Quin Mikel and Kayli Johnson over the past few games, saw the injury bug strike again before the game even started. During the pregame warm-ups, senior point guard Jillian Bieker, who herself had missed time this season with injuries, rolled her ankle and would be unable to play.

The Eagles (8-5 overall, 1-0 Evergreen 1A) didn’t respond well. Playing flat and without its key perimeter defender, Elma failed to halt the Mules’ offensive blitz in the first quarter. Led by point guard Paige Mace’s 10 points in the frame, Wahkiakum (9-3, 2-1 Central 2B) jumped out to a 13-2 lead with just over three minutes elapsed in the game, hitting three 3-pointers in the process.

With the lead at 17-6 after a Mace steal and layup with 2:25 left in the quarter, Wahkiakum provided a bit of foreshadowing, closing out the quarter on a 5-2 run to take a commanding 22-8 lead into the second frame.

“She is our defensive stopper. She is the point of our full-court press and the point of our half-court defense,” Elma head coach Lisa Johnson said of Bieker’s absence. “She’s our defensive player that lifts us up and gets us going and without her it changed the whole dynamic of the team. We didn’t have that defensive spark and we came out flat and gave up some stuff and made some mistakes we don’t typically do.”

Put in the rare position of having to climb out of a double-digit deficit in the first quarter, Elma used its defense to begin to crawl back into the game. After allowing four 3-pointers and seven field goals in the first quarter, Elma clamped down, allowing just two points through the first four-plus minutes of the second quarter.

The Eagles trimmed the lead to 24-21 after Mikel hit two free throws with 1:15 left in the half.

But Wahkiakum’s Megan Leitz hit a three followed by a Kimberlee Watkins bucket in the paint with just two seconds left as the Mules took a 29-21 lead into halftime.

Elma co-captain Kali Rambo (13) puts up a shot while being defended by Wahkiakum’s Miya Kerstetter on Wednesday in Elma. (Ryan Sparks | Grays Harbor News Group)

Elma co-captain Kali Rambo (13) puts up a shot while being defended by Wahkiakum’s Miya Kerstetter on Wednesday in Elma. (Ryan Sparks | Grays Harbor News Group)

The pattern would repeat itself in the third quarter as Elma cut the lead to 31-27 on a Mikel jumper with 4:48 left in the period.

Yet again, Wahkiakum’s response was immediate and emphatic. Mace followed with a three and, after a free throw from Ella Moore, hit a second three then stole the inbound pass and scored to give the Mules a 39-28 lead with 2:57 left in the third.

Elma cut the lead to six at 39-33 when Jalyn Sackrider, who had been double and triple-teamed all night, received a lob pass from Mikel and scored down low with 1:19 on the clock.

And Wahkiakum would once again close out the quarter, scoring the final five points, capped by a Leitz three, to take a 44-33 lead into the final period.

Elma cut the lead to five points at 44-39 after Sackrider hit 1-of-2 free-throws with 5:51 left to play.

But as they had done all night, the Mules responded once the game got close, extending the advantage to 50-41 on a Reigha Niemeyer three just over a minute later and keeping Elma at arms length after that to pull off the 56-45 upset.

“You’re trying to crawl out of a hole and we just kept getting there then not getting over the hump,” Johnson said.

Mikel led Elma with 15 points and eight rebounds. Sackrider added 11 points and eight rebounds while Kali Rambo scored nine points for the Eagles.

Mace led all scorers with 22 points. Leitz added 11 points and Niemeyer scored nine for the Mules.

“We still never gave up,”Johnson said of the loss. “We’ve got to recognize that our energy dictates how we play and we can’t get down.”

Wahkiakum 22 7 15 12 — 56

Elma 8 13 12 12 — 45


Elma 70, Tenino 58

After struggling from the free-throw line late in games in recent weeks, the Elma Eagles worked hard on focusing on foul shots leading up to Wednesday’s game at Tenino.

And the hard work paid off.

Elma went a perfect 11-for-11 from the charity stripe in the second half to notch a well-earned 70-58 victory over the Beavers at Tenino High School.

Despite committing 25 turnovers against an aggressive Tenino defense, Elma (6-7, 1-1 Evergreen 1A) was able to overcome the ball-handling difficulties by getting inside and getting to the free-throw line.

Elma took an 18-7 lead after the first period and a 35-20 lead at the half against the Beavers’ zone defense.

Elma’s Raiden Aho, who had 12 points in the game, hit three 3-pointers in the second quarter, stretching the Beavers’ defense and allowing the Eagles to attack from a high-low position in the process.

After Tenino (4-9, 0-3) cut the Eagles’ lead to 48-37 at the end of the third quarter, Elma responded by going a perfect 9-for-9 from the foul line in the fourth period to secure the victory.

“The foul shooting was kind of a big lift,” Elma head coach Jeff Niemi said. “It sure was nice to see them go down in the fourth quarter.”

As a team, Elma converted 18-of-24 (75%) foul shots and 17-of-31 (55%) from inside the 3-point line.

Nick Church led Elma with 21 points. Sawyer Witt added 13 points for the Eagles.

Brady Johnston led Elma with 10 rebounds and seven assists and Cobey Moore recorded nine rebounds and four steals for the Eagles.

Elma 18 17 13 22 — 70

Tenino 7 13 17 21 — 58

Raymond 55, Ocosta 53

Tre’ Seydel’s monster game and a clutch shot from Joseph Villalpando gave Raymond a 55-53 victory on Wednesday in Westport.

Seydel scored a game-high 30 points to go along with 12 rebounds and five assists but it was Villalpando who made the key play late in the game.

Tied at 53 with less than 20 seconds left in the game, Villalpando hit a shot that eventually became the game-winner as Raymond’s defense kept Ocosta from scoring on the final play of the game. It was the only two points Villalpando scored in the contest.

“We needed Joseph’s shot and he delivered,” Raymond head coach Derek Rask said. “I thought the key to winning this game wasn’t necessarily the X’s and O’s. Our heart and effort got it done. We played pretty solid defense in the second half and that was necessary since we shot the ball pretty poorly tonight overall.”

After falling behind 19-8 in the first quarter, Raymond (4-8, 4-6 Pacific 2B) outscored Ocosta (6-6, 6-5) 17-6 in the fourth quarter to pick up the league victory on the road.

Raymond shot 20-for-52 (38%) as a team and hit 13-of-23 (57%) free throws.

Ocosta shot 22-of-68 (32%) from the field and hit on 3-of-4 free throws, a stat that didn’t go unnoticed by Ocosta head coach Jason Quimby.

“Getting out shot 23 to four from the foul line didn’t help our cause as we weren’t as aggressive drawing fouls as Raymond was,” he said. “Raymond put a little more ball pressure on us in the second half and we rushed a little bit on offense.”

Omar Luque scored 18 points and grabbed 15 rebounds for Ocosta. Cole Hatton also had a double-double for the Wildcats, scoring 16 points to go along with 13 rebounds.

Raymond 8 20 10 17 — 55

Ocosta 19 18 10 6 — 53