Granger girls fifth at state

Okanogan Bulldogs top Spartans, 59-39

The Granger girls basketball team poses for a photograph with their state 1A basketball fifth-place trophy.

Photo by Jennie McGhan
The Granger girls basketball team poses for a photograph with their state 1A basketball fifth-place trophy.



photo

Granger’s Xochitl Chavez drives to the hoop against Okanogan’s Kendra Sachse.

— There were tears of joy and despair Saturday at the end of the third-place trophy game between Okanogan and Granger.

The Bulldogs won the coveted 1A basketball trophy, while the Spartans brought home fifth.

Okanogan commanded the game from the start to claim a 59-39 victory over the Lower Yakima Valley’s Granger girls.

The Bulldogs had a 21-7 lead at the end of the first quarter.

“We got a group of seniors who wanted the win really bad,” Okanogan coach Bryan Boesel said.

That group of seniors has played in the Hardwood Classic all four years of their high school careers.

“They got fourth their freshman year, back-to-back titles and now third,” Boesel said. At halftime, the Bulldogs had a 30-22 lead, with Granger outscoring Okanogan 15-9 in the second quarter.

“Early in the game, the team felt sorry for itself,” Granger coach Andy Affholter said. “But once it got started, the girls were competitive.”

The momentum didn’t carry over into the third and Okanogan came out on top, again. The Spartans ran out of gas in the final quarter and were held to 9 points, while the Bulldogs added 19.

The shining moment at the end of the game was a jumper from Granger bench player Laynie Brien, who dropped the shot with just 2 seconds on the clock.

Her team lept from the bench with joy.

Boesel was pleased with the Bulldogs.

“Our offense, defense, shooting and passing weren’t going to be denied,” he said. “Our seniors wanted to go out on top with a win; there was nothing Granger could’ve done. Getting a trophy every year is quite a feat.”

The Spartans see the loss as a victory.

“No one thought we would win a trophy again this year,” second-year varsity player and sophomore Naya Roettger said.

The team lost two four-year starters at the end of last season, she said.

“But, this team proved it could get here again, which says a lot about the potential for next year,” Roettger said.

Seven of Granger’s Top 8 players are expected to return next season.

“They (Okanogan) were a great team — the second best we played all year,” Affholter said of Okanogan. “We want to keep going; we have nine trophies in a row.”

One of the starting players who will graduate is Alexis Castro. She was consistently the leading scorer for the team throughout the 2016-17 season.

“I plan to attend and play for a community college and transfer to a division I or II school,” Castro said, noting she hopes to play basketball in the college she attends.

As for her current teammates, Castro has consistently praised them.

“I love this team; I’m gonna miss it,” she said. “They went after it, had their ups and downs, but I had faith in them.”

OKANOGAN (21-5)

Jill Townsend 11-18 4-5 28; Jada Rasmussen 6-10 1-2 13; Jordyn Boesel 2-5

3-4 7; Mya Moses 2-2 0-0 4; Alexis Jones 1-4 0-0 3; Makensie Jones 1-2 0-0

2; Jillyan Taylor 1-1 0-0 2; Kailee Grooms 0-0 0-0 0; Grace Clark 0-0 0-0 0;

Madeline Serles 0-0 0-0 0; Emille Beetchenow 0-1 0-0 0; Kendra Sachse 0-2

0-1 0. Totals 24-45 8-12 59.

GRANGER (23-3)

Alexis Castro 1-12 9-11 12; Sophie Blogett 2-8 1-1 6; Lily Stewart 2-3 0-0

4; Kiely Tiel 2-4 0-0 4; Naya Rottger 1-5 1-1 3; Jayleen Vasquez 1-5 0-0 3;

Kaitlyn Roettger 1-1 1-3 3; Laynie Brien 1-1 0-0 2; Emma Stewart 1-3 0-0 2;

Xochitl Chavez 0-0 0-1 0; Kiki Rodriguez 0-0 0-0 0. Totals 12-42 12-17 39.

Okanogan...................... 21 9 10 19 - 59

Granger....................... 7 15 8 9 - 39

3-point goals--Okanogan 3-7 (Jill Townsend 2-2; Alexis Jones 1-3; Jordyn

Boesel 0-2), Granger 3-20 (Jayleen Vasquez 1-5; Sophie Blogett 1-7; Alexis

Castro 1-7; Naya Rottger 0-1). Fouled out--Okanogan-None, Granger-None.

Rebounds--Okanogan 32 (Jill Townsend 11), Granger 18 (Alexis Castro 5).

Assists--Okanogan 6 (Jill Townsend 3), Granger 8 (Alexis Castro 4). Total

Fouls--Okanogan 18, Granger 13. Technical fouls--Okanogan-None,

Granger-None.



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