CATHLAMET — Columbia Adventist cut a double-digit Naselle lead to tie it in the fourth quarter, and trailed by just one in the final minute, but the Lady Comets held on for a 60-54 victory in a loser-out game Saturday, Feb. 16, to take second place at the district tournament and secure a spot at regionals. Naselle (14-8) will play Clallam Bay (13-9) at Mark Morris High School Friday at 6 p.m., with a trip to state on the line.
Naselle took charge with a 20-3 run spanning the first and second quarters. With Adventist up 13-8 five minutes into the game, Jackie Steenerson came in off the bench and quickly contributed a put-back basket to spark the Comet run. Kenzie Glenn followed with a steal and shortly buried a three-pointer. Taylor Gudmundsen followed with a block near the basket, and Adventist started having trouble with the Comet press. A Peyton Dalton jumper put Naselle ahead 17-13 after a quarter.
Senior Lilli Zimmerman helped keep her career going with a game-high 16 points. She had only two points halfway through the second quarter but started heating up with a 16-foot bank shot that extended the lead to eight. She followed with a steal that led to another basket, then a made a put-back to give Naselle its largest lead at 28-16 late in the half.
The Kodiaks again trailed by ten in the third quarter but chipped away late in the period. Leah Pearson scored on pick-and-rolls on two straight possessions, then hit a three-pointer to cut it to 44-41 after three. They missed some easy baskets to start the fourth, but exploited Comet turnovers for a 6-0 run that tied the game at 51 with 3:22 remaining.
Taylor Gumdundsen hit the go-ahead basket, sneaking open for a layup on a baseline play with 2:31 left.
The Comets upped their game on defense in the final minutes. Glenn blocked a jump shot. Peyton Dalton’s physical defense forced Adventist star guard Allie Tyler into a miss from the baseline, and disrupted another Kodiak possession with tight defense on Tyler in the corner. Tyler sat for stretches with foul trouble, and Dalton’s defense helped hold her to five points.
The Comets in-bounded the ball with a three-point lead and only 46.9 seconds remaining. But Adventist trapped Gudmundsen, forcing a jump ball to get it back. Lauren Wegner cut the lead to one with a pair of free throws with 39 seconds left. After Naselle got by a Kodiak press, Glenn went at the basket, drew a blocking foul, and hit two free throws to make it a three-point game once again with 27.2 left.
Even after Taylor Boatwright missed a three-pointer and the rebound went out to Naselle, Adventist still had life. Dalton looked for a heavily-guarded Gudmundsen with her in-bounds pass, bouncing the pass a bit away from her so the defender could not get it. Gudmundsen could not quite track it down, and the ball went out of bounds to Adventist. The Kodiaks got Boatright a good look from three-point range, but her shot rimmed off. Dalton secured the rebound in traffic, getting fouled with five seconds left. The freshman’s first free throw just barely rattled in to clinch the game. Zimmerman got the rebound on Dalton’s second attempt, putting it back for the 60-54 final score.