Like the optimistic and enthusiastic coach he is, Nigel Warren is looking ahead to Monday.
Already in the rearview mirror is Olympia High School’s 61-46 loss Friday to Kentlake in the girls 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district quarterfinals, in which a victory would have clinched a 4A regional berth.
But now, the focus shifts to Monday’s 4:30 p.m. loser-out contest against Emerald Ridge at Stadium High School.
As Warren pointed to, the Bears tend to play well following a loss. Olympia hasn’t had a two-game losing skid this season, but now must win two games (including another loser-out contest Wednesday if they beat the Jaguars on Monday) to clinch a regional berth.
“If anybody can do it,” Warren said, “they can. They’ll take this and stew on it and take it out on someone else.
“We have 64 minutes (two games) of basketball to make our first goal.”
For three quarters against Kentlake, Olympia (15-7) went toe-to-toe with the 4A SPSL Northeast Division, holding a slim halftime lead (26-24) and trailing by four at 38-34 entering the fourth.
That’s when, as Warren put it, “we stopped ourselves.” The Bears shot 2 of 13 in the final eight minutes, committed five turnovers, and watched a four-point deficit grow to 47-35 with 4:08 remaining.
Amelia Ack’s 3 cut the deficit to 51-44, but Olympia got no closer. Leading scorer Jenna Randich, who didn’t score her first point until a free throw with less than 5 minutes left in the game, finished with eight points.
4A WCD/SW bi-district
Timberline must win two more bi-district games to clinch a 4A regional berth.
2A District 4
Tumwater faces Black Hills in a loser-out game at 6 p.m. Monday at Centralia. Three of the four teams in Monday’s district semifinals are from the 2A Greater St. Helens League (Washougal, Mark Morris, Woodland).
W.F. West, champion of the Evergreen Conference, posted a 49-40 win over Hockinson on Friday and will play Woodland at 7:45 p.m. Monday at Centralia in a winner-to-regional game.