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Columbia River girls exit 2A state tournament with 46-32 loss to Archbishop Murphy

Closer, wiser Rapids remain excited for future

By Micah Rice, Columbian Sports Editor
Published: March 1, 2024, 4:37pm
3 Photos
Columbia River's Emma Iniguez (20) dribbles the ball ahead of Archbishop Murphy's Taylor Cushing in a Class 2A girls basketball consolation game on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Yakima.
Columbia River's Emma Iniguez (20) dribbles the ball ahead of Archbishop Murphy's Taylor Cushing in a Class 2A girls basketball consolation game on Friday, March 1, 2024 in Yakima. (Micah Rice/The Columbian) Photo Gallery

YAKIMA – The foundation has been set for Columbia River girls basketball.

Like any sturdy base, it’s one built on trust.

That was the sentiment Friday after the Rapids concluded their first trip beyond the state regionals since 1998.

Columbia River lost to Archbishop Murphy 46-32 in a Class 2A loser-out consolation game Friday at the Yakima Valley SunDome. But a quarterfinal berth under new head coach Tuileisu Anderson has the Rapids grateful for this season and excited for the future.

“Tee knows what she’s doing,” sophomore Gracie Glavin said. “We know if we put trust in her that we can get far. That was our goal, to make it farther than last year.”

Anderson, a 2014 Union grad who holds that school’s career scoring record, said her players made a first-year head coach’s job easier.

“I’m most proud of the trust,” Anderson said. “I say that a lot with the girls, to trust the person next to them. But the amount of trust the girls put into me the moment I got hired. They were like ‘whatever Tee says.’ I know I can trust them to the end.”

Glavin scored a team-high 12 points on 5 for 6 shooting. She’s among 10 sophomores or juniors on a team that has high hopes for next season after winning its second straight 2A Greater St. Helens League title.

But Glavin said this year’s team owes a debt to seniors Emma Iniguez and Paige Johnson.

“They work so incredibly hard for everyone,” Glavin said. “Emma on offense, Paige works her butt off on defense. … The seniors are leaving but they’ve laid a foundation. They’ve laid bricks down for us to get back here next year.”

Columbia River (19-9) struggled to find its shot early and trailed 23-10 at halftime. But the Rapids got back into the game with an 8-0 run that cut Archbishop Murphy’s lead to 30-21 late in the third quarter.

Camy Drake hit a 3-pointer to pull Columbia River within 38-30 with 4:33 to play. But the Rapids would get no closer.

An Everett school, Archbishop Murphy closed on an 8-2 run to improve to 21-6 and reach Saturday’s fourth-place game against White River.

While one win short earning a trophy, the Rapids leave Yakima a wiser team with knowledge of what they must do to join the state’s elite.

Columbia River also returns home with something that can’t be quantified with medals.

“Wins are great, but it’s the life lessons that come along with basketball,” Anderson said. “The amount of trust and chemistry that we’ve built is really big.”


ARCHBISHOP MURPHY (21-6) – Brooke Blachly 13, Kayla Hookfin 1, Taylor Cushing 15, Caroline Burns 0, Ashley Fletcher 8, Ava Marr 8, Celine Wright 1. Totals 16-48 (4-24) 10-12 46.

COLUMBIA RIVER (19-9) – Marley Myers 3, Peyton Dukes 5, Camy Drake 5, Paige Johnson 0, Reece Dunning 0, Emma Iniguez 7, Kaya Mirtich 0, Brooklyn Moore 0, Gracie Glavin 12. Totals 13-36 (4-8) 2-4 32.

Archbishop Murphy 12 11 11 12—46

Columbia River 3 7 14 8—32