YAKIMA – Despite the pressure of an elimination game, the Washougal girls basketball team felt comfortable.
So comfortable, in fact, the Panthers don’t plan on leaving anytime soon.
Washougal beat White River 47-31 on Wednesday to stay alive in the Class 2A girls basketball state tournament at the Yakima Valley SunDome.
Jaiden Bea had a double-double, Samantha Mederos added 11 points and the No. 7 seed Panthers advanced to the quarterfinals to face No. 8 seed Burlington-Edison on Thursday.
“We talked about it last night and this morning,” said Mederos, one of four Washougal seniors. “We did not want to leave today. We did not want a day trip. We want to stay for three more nights.”
Mederos hit two 3-pointers in the first quarter, which ended with Washougal ahead 14-4.
But it was Washougal’s defense that set the tone throughout the game. White River scored no more than nine points in any quarter and shot 27.5% from the field, including 1 for 12 from 3-point range.
While No. 10 seed White River (20-5) looked out of sorts for long stretches, Washougal stayed in control.
“We talked about composure,” Mederos said. “We play better when we’re calm and confident versus when we’re nervous and scared.”
White River ran off eight straight points to pull within 33-25 early in the fourth quarter. But two baskets by Chloe Johnson and a 3-pointer by Bea put Washougal back in control.
“We said this is do or die,” senior Savea Mansfield said. “We really need to pick it up. Once we hit those shots our energy came up. Everything was good from there.”
Bea finished with a game-high 15 points along with 11 rebounds. Mansfield had 10 points.
Washougal will have at least two more games in Yakima, but the Panthers are thinking big. None of the tournament’s top-four seeds are in their half of the bracket thanks to Burlington-Edison’s upset of top-seed Tumwater in the regional round.
“After winning this game, everyone is really pumped,” Mederos said. “We’re going to want it even more, which I didn’t think was possible because in districts we were pushing so hard.”
WASHOUGAL 47, WHITE RIVER 31
WHITE RIVER (20-5) – Morgan Greene 8, Lexie Banks 0, Josie Jacobs 0, Brooke Mahler 0, Vivian Kingston 10, MacKenzie Hinson 0, Alle Klemkow 0, Ashley Banks 0, Ava Bright 6, Elle Klemkow 0, Dakota Sprouse 7. Totals 14-51 (1-12) 2-9 31.
WASHOUGAL (17-5) – Chloe Johnson 6, Savea Mansfield 10, Samantha Mederos 11, Jaiden Bea 15, Carissa De La Rocha 0, Sydnee Momakov 0, Bella Albaugh 0, Hadley Jones 0, Ireland Albaugh 2, Jaisa Wilson 3. Totals 16-44 (8-18) 7-13 47.
White River 4 9 9 9—31
Washougal 14 13 6 14—47