Tuesday, June 28, 2022
June 28, 2022

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La Center girls team up to beat King’s Way Christian, earn state berth

Kylee Stephens has 20 points, Gianna D'Emilio added 15 in a 57-38 win

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor
Published:
7 Photos
La Center’s Alyse Webberley (22) dribbles against King’s Wasy Christian’s Laurel Quinn (14) during the Wildcats’ 57-38 win over the Knights in a district winner-to-state girls basketball game at Fort Vancouver.
La Center’s Alyse Webberley (22) dribbles against King’s Wasy Christian’s Laurel Quinn (14) during the Wildcats’ 57-38 win over the Knights in a district winner-to-state girls basketball game at Fort Vancouver. (Tim Martinez/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

Two losses in their past four games were weighing on the minds of the La Center girls basketball team, in particularly a loss to King’s Way Christian two weeks ago that cost the Wildcats the outright league championship.

“Coming into this game, we knew this game really determined who won league, who was the league champion,” La Center senior Kylee Stephens said. “We came out with such a strict mindset as a team, that we need to play as a team, be a team together, support each other and take everything that had happened on our losses and grow from that.”

The mentality served the Wildcats well as they came shooting hot and ran away from King’s Way Christian 57-38 to claim the final berth to state Saturday in the district third-place game at Fort Vancouver.

“I feel like when I personally start off on a good note, it leads to the rest of the game,” senior Gianna D’Emilio said. “When I start on a bad note, it kind of tears me down, which is not the best thing.”

That’s what happened on Tuesday when La Center was held to a season-low in points in a 27-21 loss to Tenino.

“We went out there and practice thinking that every game could be our last game,” D’Emilio said of the Wildcats approach after that loss. “And we just got to go out there an play our hardest.”

On Saturday, the Wildcats surpassed their Tuesday point total in the second quarter  as they hit seven first-half 3-pointers for 29-16 halftime lead.

Stephens and D’Emilio hit two each and senior Annabelle Atwood added three in the first half.

And La Center didn’t let up in the scond half as Stephens finished with a team-high 20 points and D’Emilio added 15.

King’s Way Christian Laurel Quinn did all she could to keep the Knights close, knocking down six 3-pointers and finishing with 22 points.

But the Wildcats got contributions all over the court, and that proved to be the difference. Malyah Cooley pulled down nine rebounds, and the Wildcats had 17 assists as a team.

“Everyone did their part,” Stephens said. “Everyone scored. Everyone had a great pass, great shooting.

D’Emilio said: “It was an awesome game by everybody.”

LA CENTER 57, KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN 38

KING’S WAY CHRISTIAN — Hannah Erwin 3, Bridget Quinn 6, Riley Philbrook 2, Ella Zimmerman 5, Laurel Quinn 22, Izzy Hill 0. Totals 14 (10) 0-1 38.

LA CENTER — Gianna D’Emilio 15, Annabelle Atwood 9, Talia Wise 2, Alyse Webberley 5, Kylee Stephens 20, Malyah Cooley 6. Totals 22 (12) 1-2 57.

King’s Way 11 5 7 15—38

La Center 8 21 12 16—57

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