Wednesday, February 8, 2023
Feb. 8, 2023

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La Center girls get 3 wins on boards

Rebounding helps Wildcats beat Evergreen, 73-58

By , Columbian High School Sports Reporter

Officially, it was not a championship game.

It was, however, the only game featuring two 2-0 teams going into the third day of the Hoops for the Holiday girls basketball tournament at Evergreen High School.

When it was over Friday night, La Center was the last team standing without a loss.

The Wildcats did so with an impressive rebounding night.

Whitley Seter had 17 rebounds, Taylor Mills had 11 boards, and the Wildcats actually grabbed the first 15 rebounds of the game in a 73-58 victory over host Evergreen.

Seter did not realize she had that many.

“I just felt like I was playing,” she said.

Her coach noticed.

“I’m so happy for her,” Herm VanWeerdhuizen said. “She works so hard. She’s put in the time.”

Seter said rebounding is a key to La Center’s success in the future. The Wildcats have the goal of going to the Class 1A state tournament.

“We’re all really making it a point to box out, and we’re doing a good job talking,” she said.

Mills led La Center with 23 points, and Taylor Stephens added 20. Molly Edwards scored 13. Seter had 11 points, giving the Wildcats four in double figures.

Plus, there were two double-doubles, with Mills and Seter.

VanWeerdhuizen said he is really pleased with the team-first concept of making the extra pass.

“It’s a good shot to a greater shot,” he said.

He, too, was thrilled with the performance in the third game in as many days. That could help in the future, as well.

“It didn’t look like we were tired. It looks like were gelling,” he said.

“We all loved it,” Seter said of playing three consecutive days. “We all like to go, go, go. Everyone just loves to play.”

Mills scored the first nine points of the game for the Wildcats, who took a 9-2 lead and never trailed. The lead grew to 29 in the fourth quarter.

“We still have stuff to work on, but I think we did a pretty good job tonight,” Seter said.

She noted the defense slowing down Evergreen’s guards. She called it helping the helper.

“If someone gets beat and another girl helps, someone else has to drop to help her,” Seter said. “It’s a transition, to do the best we can on defense.”

VanWeerdhuizen credited Bethany Whitten for slowing Evergreen’s Ahna Burney to 10 points Friday. Burney scored 23 the previous day.

Felicia Bahr made three 3-pointers and finished with 15 points to lead the Plainsmen. Mackenzie Smith added 13 points, JaVonne Williams scored 11 and Alana Jackson grabbed eight rebounds.


LA CENTER — Nyah Mertz 0, Laynie Erickson 0, Alyssa McKnight 2, Whitley Seter 11, Molley Edwards 13, Natasha Lewis 1, Bethany Whitten 3, Taylor Mills 23, Mia Edwards 0, Taylor Stephens 20, Katie Nelson 0. Totals 24 (3) 22-32 73.

EVERGREEN — Arianna Mendiola 0, Vanessa Kuffner 0, Felicia Bahr 15, JaVonne Williams 11, Alanna Jackson 2, Ahna Burney 10, Grace Bauer 0, Dakota Piovesan 2, Mackenzie Smith 13, Alyssa Smith 5. Totals 19 (6) 14-19 58.

La Center 18 22 14 19–73

Evergreen 7 14 14 23–58

Columbian High School Sports Reporter