PUYALLUP — Instead of a staring at a loss in Saturday’s Class 2A girls basketball regional to the same White River team it beat at this postseason stage a year ago, Washougal coach Brian Oberg guesstimated his Panthers might have topped the Hornets by “eight or 10 points” if things went a little differently.
What Oberg meant was if sophomore standout Beyonce Bea, the 2A Greater St. Helens League MVP, hadn’t fouled out in the third quarter in what turned out to be a foul-fested 66-53 loss at Rogers High School, the game likely would have been in Washougal’s favor.
Now, it’s all about not having a letdown heading into the Hardwood Classic, facing East Valley of Yakima at 3:45 p.m. Wednesday in a loser-out game at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
“It’s tough to look the girls in the eye and say, ‘you lost that game,’ ” Oberg said. “They were certainly playing well enough to win.”
Bea was having a game to remember, too — 14 points, 16 rebounds, and two blocks in just 22 minutes — and “probably could have gone for 40,” Oberg noted. Yet she watched from the bench after picking up fifth foul with 1 minute, 11 seconds left in the third quarter.
“It was hard knowing that I can’t go back in and help my team,” Bea said, “but I kept a positive attitude and tried to encourage them to do their best.”
A possession and 14 seconds earlier, Bea was whistled for her fourth, but Oberg said he wanted to keep the sophomore on the floor for the ensuing offensive possession.
It backfired when Bea was whistled for an offensive foul.
At that point, Washougal (16-6) led 41-38, but as Bea sat the rest of the game, the Panthers’ offense sputtered. It made just one field goal over the next six minutes with six turnovers, as White River (24-2) quickly made it a 12-point swing at 52-43 with 4:13 to play and did the majority of the damage at the free-throw line.
Ah, yes, free throws. And the fouls.
Fifty combined fouls were called, leading to 55 free-throw attempts.
Just in the fourth quarter, White River went 17 of 23 at the line, and 28 of 43 for the game. By comparison. Washougal was 4 of 12 in 32 minutes.
Mason Oberg led Washougal with 15 points before fouling out with 2:21 left. Bird, who finished with 18 points, also fouled out late.
There’s still a lot of basketball left for Washougal, just not the first-round bye it was hoping for with a win Saturday.
“We feel pretty good about our chances moving forward,” Coach Oberg said.
WHITE RIVER 66, WASHOUGAL 53
WASHOUGAL — Mason Oberg 15, Beyonce Bea 14, Toryi Midland 8, Lindsey THomas 6, Ashley GIbbons 2, Kiara Cross 0, Emilee Smart 0, Kaitlyn Reijonen 0, Tiana Barnett 2, McKinley Stotts 1, Paige Wilson 3. Totals: 23 (3) 4-12 53
WHITE RIVER — Chloe Narolski 0, Emma Robbins 0, Noelle Mills 0, Lee Audrey Norris 6, Megan Cash 0, Jane Allyn Norris 5, Lucy Rasmussen 2, Georgie Lavinder 13, Lily Tranquillo 0, Kendall Bird 18, Taylee Goethals 0, Sofia Lavinder 22. Totals: 16 (6) 28-43 66
Washougal 9 16 16 12—53
White River 6 16 22 22—66