Nooksack Valley girls’ basketball earned fifth place at the Class 1A State Tournament after a 58-46 loss to Granger on Saturday, March 5, at the SunDome in Yakima.
The Pioneers went 1-2 at the state tournament, beating Zillah on Thursday and losing to Kings on Friday.
It was a battle trying to gain a lead, Nooksack Valley coach Shane Wichers said in a phone interview. The Pioneers couldn’t slow Granger’s offense, which had 11 3-pointers in the game. Nooksack Valley responded but had a hard time moving the ball with 16 turnovers to Granger’s six.
“We fought,” Wichers said. “We were down six at halftime. We never quit, but in the second half they went for more 3s.”
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At one moment near the end of the fourth quarter, Granger led by 21 points.
It was a good final game for some of the seniors, Wichers said.
Leading for the Pioneers, Emilia Gimmaka had 10 points, eight rebounds and an assist. Arlissa Oettel also had 10 points and six rebounds.
Brianna Turner had eight points and six rebounds.
Granger was led by Alexis Castro with 15 points, six rebounds and four assists.
The Pioneers went 20-11 for the season and 7-5 in conference play.
Half of Nooksack Valley’s varsity team will be graduating in the spring. Arlissa Oettel, Jasmin Zavala, Emilia Gimmaka, Olivia Berkan, Cassidy Zylstra and Brianna Turner will leave big gaps to be filled before next season.
With many of the high-scoring team members graduating, preparing for next season will be about preparing underclassmen to step up and take leadership positions.
“Every year students have to make commitments to get better and put in that effort during the summer and in the offseason,” Wichers said. “We will see where that takes us.”
Granger 58, Nooksack Valley 46
Granger: Sierra Heitzman 5, Diana Solorio 3, Naya Roettger 11, Laynie Brien 0, Sophie Blodgett 7, Alexis Castro 15, Lindsey Carpenter 8, Lily Stewart 0, Jay Vasquez 6, Vanessa Vasquez 3.
Nooksack Valley: Arlissa Oettel 10, Maddi Myhre 0, Rachel Sande 2, Karly Stremler 0, Jenna Tenkley 7, Jasmin Zavala 3, Emilia Gimmaka 10, Olivia Berkan 0, Cassidy Zylstra 0, Katrina Gimmaka 6, Brianna Turner 8.