LONGVIEW — Ilwaco beat Toledo 60-54 in district quarterfinals at Mark Morris High School Wednesday, Feb. 13. The match-up pitted the Pacific League champ Ilwaco against the fourth-place team out of the Central League. Toledo had handed Ilwaco its only regular season loss in December by a 52-41 score.

Early on on Wednesday Toledo took Ilwaco out of rhythm on offense with a mixture of presses, forcing the Lady Fishermen into turnovers. Erika Glenn lived at the free throw line, drawing four shooting fouls in the first four minutes, but hit only four of nine free throws during that stretch.

The teams had seen the game postponed all the way from the previous Saturday due to snow on the previous weekend and flood warnings early in the week. For Ilwaco, which had byes in the first two rounds of districts, it was the first game since January.

“Repetition (in practice) is a good thing, but we forgot a little bit of our intensity,” Ilwaco’s Estella Sheldon said. “It took us a while to get going.”

Glenn was forced to hoist up three-pointers in an attempt to salvage possessions that were going nowhere. These shots weren’t falling, but Ilwaco’s offense seemed to look to the league MVP to single-handedly lift it. Ultimately, she did.

Late in the second quarter, Glenn dribbled sideways into traffic, hit the tough shot and drew the foul. She missed the free throw, but Sheldon got the offensive rebound. That led to a three-pointer by Glenn, giving her a five-point possession to put Ilwaco ahead 21-17 with 2:34 in the half. Glenn secured an offensive rebound on a missed free throw by Sheldon, and fed an open Kylie Gray on the resulting baseline inbound for an eight-point lead. Near the end of the half, Glenn got the ball at half-court against the press and went straight at the basket to get to the line to make it a 26-17 game at halftime.

Ilwaco’s defense was strong during the 12-0 run that ended the first half, forcing Toledo into awkward shots and passes.

“We worked on guarding dribble penetration (during the long layoff),” Ilwaco coach Ned Bittner said. “Last time we played them they beat us off the dribble, and we didn’t want to allow that (again.)”

Glenn opened second-half scoring with a stop-and-pop jumper in traffic in the lane. After that, Toledo outscored Ilwaco 7-0 over the next four minutes. Glenn ended that run by stealing a tipped pass, going on a one-on-two break and scoring through contact, but Toledo still got the lead down to one at 36-35 through three quarters.

Fourth Quarter

Arianna Bell hit a pair of fourth-quarter threes, one a wide-open shot on a baseline play at the start of the period and the other a bank shot that made it 53-46 with 3:01 to go. Ebby McMullen added a three of her own early in the quarter. Glenn hit two more tough shots, an off-balance put-back and a scoop shot under her defender from the baseline.

But Glenn also committed her fourth foul early in the period. Kallie Schaplow got her backpedaling with a cross-over and turned it into a three-point play, cutting Ilwaco’s lead to 45-42 with 6:02 left. That late in the game, Bittner couldn’t afford to take her out, but she was always a play away from an early exit. It happened with 2:04 remining, on a battle for a loose ball. Haleigh Holmes hit a pair of free throws to cut the lead to four.

But Sunny Kemmer came through with a put-back to boost the lead back to six with 1:36 left. After Schaplow made it a one-possession game with a three-pointer, McMullen pushed the pace, attacked and found Gray for an open bank shot to make it 58-53. Toledo could get no closer, missing four three-pointers in the final 1:30.

Aaron Mead is a sports writer for the Chinook Observer. Contact him at 360-642-8181 or aaroncmead@gmail.com.

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