It seemed fitting the game took place on Friday the 13th.
The Washougal girls basketball team, much like the villains in all those 1980s slasher flicks, just wouldn’t die.
Not when Black Hills had an early double-digit lead. Not when Lindsey Nurmi’s 3-pointer with 31/2 minutes to play appeared to be the final dagger.
Nope. The Panthers kept rising from the dead.
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Washougal overcame an early 12-point deficit to surprise Black Hills, 60-57, in the opening round of the Class 2A District 4 girls basketball tournament Friday in Tumwater.
“That’s a resilient team we played tonight. We told our players (Washougal) wouldn’t quit and they didn’t,” said Black Hills girls basketball coach Tanya Greenfield. “We didn’t value possessions at the end and it cost us.”
For a second consecutive season, the Wolves will now have to navigate through the consolation bracket if they want a return trip to the Class 2A state tournament.
“We don’t want to be in this position, but we were in it last year and we got through,” Greenfield said. “Now it’s just a matter of whether we can persevere or not.”
Meeri Gummerus and Emma Duff both scored 16 points for the Wolves. Duff hit four 3s, her final with 10 seconds to play which pulled Black Hills within 59-57.
After Washougal’s Alyssa Blankenship split a pair of free throws, the Wolves had a chance to tie, but Duff’s 3-pointer fell short.
Black Hills will face cross-town rival Tumwater in an elimination game at 6 p.m. Monday at Centralia High. Washougal (15-5) will face Mark Morris at 6 p.m. Monday at Ridgefield High with a state berth on the line.
Shayla Smothers finished with 13 points and a game-high 17 rebounds for the Wolves.
RaeAnn Allen scored 16 points for the Panthers, while Blankenship added 15.
The second half featured nine lead changes.
Every time the Wolves (14-8) looked to be pulling away back charged Washougal.
Nurmi’s triple gave Black Hills it’s final lead of the game as the Panthers scored the game’s next eight points, highlighted by a 3-pointer from Hailey Briggs which banked in.
Over the final 31/2 minutes, the ease at which Black Hills was breaking the Panthers press was long gone. In its place was a slew of costly turnovers and ill-advised passes.
And when the Wolves did execute their offense late, they found difficulty sinking shots at close range.
“We missed a ton of shots in the paint,” Greenfield said. “Far too many close shots. You can’t miss those if you want to be successful in the playoffs.”
Black Hills led for the entire first half, racing out to an early 20-8 lead, but an ice cold shooting display in the second quarter, the Wolves went 1-for-15 from the field, allowed Washougal to inch back into the game as Black Hills held a slim 25-23 lead at the half.