The basketball season has come to a roaring close! After a season of attempting to improve and compete as what colleges like to refer to as "student athletes," the final standings have all come in. Each team had a different goal going into the season. Some of them had state playoffs on their radar and others had individual improvement as the goal. Let's check in and see how it went.
First the 1A teams. The Castle Rock girls had a chance with a few breaks to make it to regionals. They went 3-7 in division, as did White Salmon and Stevenson. All of those three teams beat one another and lost to one another. In the end, Stevenson advanced to regionals possibly on the strength of their overall season schedule. They drew Montesano who placed second at districts. Both of the Castle Rock teams finished the year with a victory. The girls look to return four starters next season including their top scorer, Nakayla Ehrhorn. Coming from a season that saw them on the losing end of five games by 5 or less points, they seem poised for a jump.
The Castle Rock Boys similarly are expected to return four starters from a season that saw them struggle to a 2-17 record. They have a chance to also make a jump as they hope to build on continuity with Coach Carter returning for his second year, but they will have to replace one of their top two scorers in Dakota Golden.
The Winlock Girls struggled to a 4-15 record on the season. Depth was a hindrance as well as some untimely injuries. Next year they will benefit from having Coach Nelson moving into her second season but will be seeking to replace several starters, including all-league senior Rianna Whitehead.
The Boys finished 9-14 on the season and provided the region with one of the biggest upsets of the season. They not only made regionals for the first time in four plus years, but they stunned Ilwaco in regionals in the eighth seed versus second seed game! They will attempt to reload their roster next season after losing three starters and five total seniors from their roster.
The Toledo girls were decimated by injuries to starters this season, but were still able to make districts in a year that saw them underperform on their pre-season expectations. With some better luck and the return of their entire roster, save one, they look to be much improved next season.
The Toledo boys not only were successful in their goal of making it to Spokane for the state tournament, they succeeded in being one of the scariest teams to play on any given night! After losing back-to-back in midseason to Napavine and Adna, they went into districts on a 10-game win streak and avenged their midseason loss to Napavine in a 73-48 victory. This set them up for the district championship game and also put an end to Napavine's impressive 21-game win streak that they had built up to that point.
Toledo then proceeded to state where they drew the overall number one seed and eventual state champion: Kittitas. They fought valiantly but came away with a close, ten-point loss. They then proceeded to win against Chief Leschi in Spokane before losing their last two games and finishing seventh or eighth in state for the year.
Other notables from the 2b central are the Napavine boys, who finished sixth in state after losing in the fourth place game to Northwest Christian (Colbert), and Adna who finished either seventh or eighth after losing to NWC the day before.
Next up...Play Ball!