GOLDENDALE - The Bickleton High School girls basketball team has a monumental task that lies ahead.
The Lady Pirates, who knocked off Trout Lake/Glenwood 49-40 last night in Goldendale in a loser-out District tourney game, must defeat Sunnyside Christian this coming Friday if they are to extend their march through the postseason. Should that happen, Bickleton would need to beat the Lady Knights again on Saturday to advance to the 1B Regional tournament.
Getting the best of state-ranked Sunnyside Christian this coming weekend, twice to boot, will be a daunting chore for the Lady Pirates. Especially when you factor in that Bickleton has already fallen to the Lady Knights in all three match-ups this season. Sunnyside Christian prevailed by 58-33 and 63-39 scores in the two regular season conference games, then handled Bickleton even more convincingly in last Saturday's District tourney semi-final tilt, winning 65-27.
If the Lady Pirates (14-7) are to have a chance against Sunnyside Christian (19-3) in the District title contest, to be played at 6 p.m. at Mabton High School this Friday, they'll need the kind of spectacular performance they got last night from senior Katelynn Clinton. She led Bickleton to its 49-40 victory over Trout Lake/Glenwood by pumping in a game-high 19 points and scraping a team-best 17 rebounds off the glass, as well as seven steals.
Teammate Jamie Venema stepped up and added 11 points to the tally.
Jenna Mount, too, contributed to the victory with eight boards.
"It was a slow start for both teams offensively," said Bickleton Coach Emily Barnhart, explaining her team only connected on 9-of-28 shots from the field in the opening half.
The Lady Pirates were behind 20-19 at halftime, but a fourth-quarter charge added to a 10-point third quarter, which gave Bickleton the victory.
Barnhart said her team focused on getting Trout Lake-Glenwood's Liz Vogt to foul out. Vogt scored 23 points before that happened in the final stanza.
"We were able to turn the game around very quickly at that point," said Barnhart.
She continued, "The girls played very hard and fortunately came out of it with a win.