RIDGEFIELD — With the game on the line nursing a three-point lead in the final 30 seconds, the Hudson’s Bay girls basketball team put the ball in their floor leader Aniyah Hampton.
“I knew she’d be able to handle it, even if she did get fouled, she would knock down those free throws,” senior Paytin Ballard said.
Except Hampton never got to the free throw line.
W.F. West didn’t foul the Bay senior, and the Eagles point guard was able to dribble out the clock for a 33-30 win over the Bearcats in the 2A district semifinal game on Monday.
“I was definitely looking for the foul,” Hampton said. “I even had my back to the basket. Then once I realized they weren’t fouling, I was just trying to run in circles, get away from the defenders.”
The horn sounded, and the Eagles clinched another berth to the regional round of the 2A state tournament. Hudson’s Bay will play Tumwater in the district championship on Friday at Battle Ground High School.
Hampton finished with 16 points on Monday, including the Eagles’ last six points in the fourth quarter.
But the senior saved her compliments for the defensive team effort the Eagles gave against the Bearcats.
“I’m so proud of them,” Hampton said. “We’re a young team other than our three seniors. I was just proud of the way everybody stepped up. We all played our roles. We’re a selfless team, just doing whatever our coaches ask us to do, do whatever we have to do to get the win. And that’s what we did.”
Ballard, a senior, played a big role on defense, guarding Pepperdine-bound Drea Brumfield.
“My approach basically was to make sure she got the ball as little as possible,” Ballard said. “And if she did, make sure she wasn’t able to shoot. And if she was able to shoot, make it a difficult shot for her to make.”
Brumfield finished with nine points.
Hampton hit two 3-pointers and Mahaila Harrison buried another as the Eagles went on a 9-0 run late in the third quarter and into the fourth to lead 30-23.
Playing tough defense and grabbing key rebounds, the Eagles never allowed the Bearcats to get closer than five points until Julia Dalan scored with about 27 second to go, cutting Bay’s lead to 33-30.
From there, Hampton dribbled the Eagles to the district title game and a guaranteed berth to the regional round.
“It means a lot,” Hampton said. “We’ve accomplished league championships. We’ve been to district championships. We’ve been to regionals. The one thing we have left is win the ring, and that’s what we’re focused on right now.”
HUDSON’S BAY 33, W.F. WEST 30
W.F. WEST — Lexi Roberts 12, Makayla Moore 0, Olivia Remund 7, Drea Brumfield 9, Amanda Bennett 0, Morgan Rogerson 0, Carlie Deskins 0, Kyla McCallum 0, Julia Dalan 2. Totals 11 (4) 4-7.
HUDSON’S BAY — Promise Bond 0, Miranda Gonzalez 0, Alana Stephens 0, Devon Johnson-Brownm 3, Paytin Ballard 5, Mahaila Harrison 9, Aniyah Hampton 16, Zoriah Jones 0. Totals 11 (6) 5-9 33.
WF West 8 6 9 7—30
Bay 5 6 16 6—33