SPOKANE — Eliza Bannister’s corner three-pointer saved Ilwaco’s season and sent the game into overtime, where Makenzie Kaech scored all six of Ilwaco’s points in an intense 50-49 quarterfinal win over St. George’s. Kaech hit the winning free throws after drawing contact while spinning away from her defender in the lane.
The Dragons led 37-33 with under five minutes to go in regulation, on the strength of a man defense that stifled Ilwaco most of the game. Kaech backed her defender into the lane, stepped back and made a very tough ten-footer with 4:11 remaining, then hit a three-pointer off a pass from Bannister for a 38-37 lead with 3:04 to go.
With St. George’s back in the lead 41-39, Kaech got position near the basket, took an entry pass from Bannister and banked in a contested shot to tie it with 55 seconds remaining. Jacobson blocked a shot at the other end, but St. George’s Abby Jones gathered a loose ball, flipped up a wild shot while being fouled, and somehow got it to roll in, then completed the three-point play, a devastating blow with 35.5 seconds left. Ilwaco called time out and got Bannister open in the corner with a double screen. Bannister swished in the three-pointer, sending into a frenzy the many fans who made the trip from the Peninsula to Spokane.
A tenacious overtime period began with Bannister ripping the ball away for a steal right after the opening tip. With 1:17 left to go, St. George’s led 47-46. Madeline Jacobson came out to the perimeter and delivered a pass to Kaech in deep near the basket, where she scored for the lead. Daysha Melendez gave St. George’s another lead with a jumper from the side of the key. St. George’s fouled Kaech as she was dancing away from their defenders in the lane, sending her to the line for the go ahead free throws. She sank them both, and St. George’s came up empty on its last possession. Ebby McMullen corralled the final rebound in the waning seconds, and the celebration began.
Kaech finished with 26 points.
Ilwaco will play Davenport in semifinals Friday at 7:15 p.m. Friday.