La Conner places fourth at girls’ state hoops tourney in Spokane

 

A GREAT SEASON AND WINNERS TO THE END – The La Conner High School girls basketball team finished fourth in the 2B Hardwood Classic state tournament in Spokane last Saturday, March 5. Front row, left to right: Teagan Swanson, Sarah Cook, Rachel Cram, Juna Swanson, Aubrie Sloniker, student manager Cole Medeiros. Back row, left to right: Assistant coach Dustin Swanson, assistant coach Anna Cook, Kennedy Miller, Ellie Marble, Josie Harper, Maeve McCormick, Ellalee Wortham, assistant coach Lynette Cram. Not pictured, head coach Scott Novak and student manager Maggie McLeod. – Photo courtesy of Roger Harnack, Free Press Publishing

Denied a state title, La Conner ended the season on a positive note Saturday morning March 5 at the Spokane Arena with a 67-52 win over Raymond to get fourth place at the 2022 2B Girls’ Hardwood Classic.

“I’m proud of how we finished out the season,” said La Conner senior Sarah Cook, who scored 18 points, during a post-game interview aired on the NFHS Network.

“It was our last game,” Cook said, “so we wanted to leave everything on the floor.”

The Lady Braves defeated Lake Roosevelt 69-61 in an elimination matchup on Friday.

Their only stumble in Spokane came in Thursday’s quarterfinals, a 61-48 loss to Warden, the eventual state champion.

“Physically, Warden was a tough matchup for us,” La Conner head coach Scott Novak said afterward. “They’re long and athletic. As a result, we weren’t at our best. Against a team like Warden, we needed to be at our best.”

The Lady Braves were clearly at their best when paired against Lake Roosevelt and Raymond.

Lake Roosevelt opened with an 8-0 spurt in the first period. La Conner responded with nine straight points. The first half ended in a 33-33 tie when Harper scored on a bank shot.

La Conner went on another 9-point tear in the third quarter, going up 48-37 when Rachel Cram drilled a three-pointer.

Cook scored 25 points and seven rebounds. Marble recorded a double-double with 18 points, 10 rebounds and six steals. Cram also scored in double figures, getting 11 points. Swanson fueled the attack with a team-best seven assists.

“Coming off an extremely difficult loss,” Novak said, referencing the Warden game, “our girls turned the page and focused on what was in front of them. They kept battling the entire game and found a way to pull it out against a good Lake Roosevelt team.”

La Conner kept their momentum in their game against Raymond.

The team received huge efforts from Marble, whom NFHS broadcasters repeatedly praised, with 19 points, 14 rebounds and six steals. Cram posted 17 points and handed out six assists.

La Conner led 33-31 at the break when Freeman landed two straight buckets. The Lady Braves forged a 43-36 lead on a three-pointer by Cram and basket by Wortham. They would eventually extend that to 18 points, at 67-49.

The clash for fourth place was decided.

“It was a great finish to our season by a great group of girls,” Novak said.

“These young ladies,” he stressed, “have been a pleasure to coach. They are excellent basketball players, high character kids and outstanding role models.”

 

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