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Saturday, March 2, 2024
March 2, 2024

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Hot shooting in second half propels Seton Catholic girls to 70-57 win in 1A district semifinal win over Eatonville

Youthful Cougars win their 16th game in a row to return to the district championship game

By , Columbian Assistant Sports Editor

Good things came in threes Saturday for the Seton Catholic girls basketball team.

When Eatonville’s tough inside defense proved challenging, Seton answered seven 3-pointers in the second half to beat the Cruisers 70-57 Saturday in a Class 1A district semifinal game at Seton.

“We knew we needed to do it as a team,” senior Alyssa Mancuso said. “Defense is one of our big things. So I think just coming out with a lot of intensity on defense, getting those tips, then we knew our offense would come. We just needed to stop them.”

Sophomore post Riley Seymer scored 12 points in the first half, helping the Cougars build a 34-23 lead. But moments later, she went to the bench with her third foul. Seton went cold, and Eatonville rallied to tie the game 34-34 at halftime.

Seton went about eight minutes without a field goal, from midway in the second quarter to midway in the third quarter.

Mancuso halted the drought with back-to-back 3-pointers with about four minutes left in the third quarter to give Seton a 43-40 lead. 

Remy Jenniges and Madison Lee added two more 3-pointers as Seton took a 53-49 lead into the fourth quarter.

“We play as a team,” Mancuso said. “It’s not just one person scoring points. We all contribute. And that’s just what makes us special.”

And with the Cruisers forced to extend their defense to cover the Seton shooters, Seymer was able to get going again on offense, scoring the Cougars’ first 10 points of the fourth quarter to open a 65-54 lead.

“I think as soon as we get our energy up, like the bench, the fans, everybody gets their energy up, then I think that helps us all come together as a team and work really hard,” Seymer said.

Seymer finished with a team-high 24 points for Seton. Madison Lee scored 16 points and Mancuso had 12 for the Cougars, who now advance to the district championship game against Montesano next Saturday in Hoquiam.

After losing three pivotal seniors from a team that reached the district title game last year, Seton was thought to be in a rebuilding mode with a very young roster.

Instead, the Cougars have run off 16 consecutive wins to win another Trico League title and clinch another trip to the state playoffs.

“That’s why we don’t set a lot of goals,” Seton coach Joe Potter said. “I just send them out there and see what they can do. … You can see sometimes I have five sophomores out there. But we don’t talk about age. We don’t talk about grade. You’re just a basketball player. Just go and do your job. And it’s been fun watching them grow.”