SPOKANE – Ilwaco couldn't keep Natalie Smith and Ellie Sander out of the lane as Northwest Christian knocked off the Fishermen 50-37 Wednesday.

Ilwaco trailed 10-3 early but replied with a 9-0 run, taking the lead on Tiana Ramsey’s three-pointer. The lead changed hands over the next several minutes. After Sander twirled to the basket for a layup and a one-point lead, Erika Glenn gave Ilwaco its last lead at 18-17 with a pair of free throws, giving her nine points already.

But the Crusaders were already getting deep into the lane at will, repeatedly reaching the free throw line, and would soon open up a lead. Sander hit a circus shot for a five-point lead, and the Crusaders led 25-18 at halftime.

The Crusaders stretched the lead in the third quarter. Northwest piled up more points at the free throw line, and Sander picked off a pass and converted a reverse layup to make it 34-21 late in the period.

Glenn hit a pair of threes to cut it to 36-27 early in the fourth quarter, but threes by Smith and Sander stretched it back to 15, putting the game away.

Ilwaco will take on Columbia (Burbank) at 9:00 a.m. Friday on the fourth-place brackets.

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

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