One season after finishing last in the 3A Greater St. Helens league with only one league win, the Columbia River girls basketball team will be playing for the district title on Friday.
The Chieftains were sparked by their defense in the second quarter where they didn't allow Kelso to make a field goal. Kelso's lone two points came at the free-throw line.
Teagan Cowles thievery was key to the defensive success, finishing with five steals to go along with a career-high 16 points to lead all scorers.
Megan Bloom had four points but helped carry River on the glass, leading the team with 10 rebounds.
"We just did the job from then," said River coach Carl Click talking about his teams play following their big second quarter. "Our post defenders played strong post defense."
Against a strong rebounding opponent in Kelso, River needed everything they got from Bloom as well as Holli Jo Chose and Ellie Walker.
Kelso made their runs but River was able to keep control for most of the game.
Kady Bruce led Kelso with 12 points in loss.
COLUMBIA RIVER 46, KELSO 39
KELSO -- Loryn Musgrove 9, Kady Bruce 12, Leach 6, Hunter Thomson-Terrel 2, Brianna Sorensen 0, Kalena Gustin 8, Sara Peterson 2. Totals 15(4) 5-8 39.
COLUMBIA RIVER -- Ana Delgadillo 4, Marion Lilly 10, Kate Kraft 3, Teaghan Cowles 16, Holli Jo Chose 2, Megan Bloom 4, Ellie Walker 3, Morgan Anthony 4, Katie Anthony 0. Totals 19(2) 6-10 46.
Kelso 13 2 12 12--39
Col. River 13 13 10 10--46