NWL GIRLS BASKETBALL: Knappa 33, Gaston 32

The Gaston Greyhounds girls basketball team broke a long losing streak at Knappa’s gymnasium this year, but with their season on the line could not end another frustrating streak against the Loggers.

For the third consecutive season and the fourth time in six years, Knappa (4-19) ended Gaston’s season in the Northwest League district playoffs. Sophomore guard Madelynn Weaver hit a short jump shot with 46 seconds to go and the Loggers got three defensive stops to close out a 33-32 upset victory over the Greyhounds (7-12) at Henry Kaulia Gymnasium Monday night.

The Loggers move on to face Neah-Kah-Nie in Rockaway Wednesday night. The winner will advance to a winner-to state, loser out game at Forest Grove High School on Saturday afternoon.

With two double-digit wins against Knappa this year, including a 39-26 victory at Knappa on January 19, Gaston’s first win at Knappa since 2012, the Greyhounds were the favorite Monday night. But the Loggers were able to limit leading scorer Charity Hall’s touches, while overcoming turnovers with key three-point shots and an all-out effort on the glass.

The Loggers turned the ball over ten times in the first period alone, but Gaston was unable to capitalize, scoring just six points. Down 6-2 with less than two minutes remaining in the quarter, Knappa got a free throw from freshman post Vicki Ramvick and a three-pointer from sophomore guard Aiko Miller to tie the game. The Loggers continued their surge, capping a 11-2 run with a Paris Vanderburg three-pointer to go up 13-8 with 3:47 left in the first half. Gaston would close the half strong as junior forward Brooke Jordan scored six of her game-high 12 points before the halftime buzzer. Her steal and layup with a second to go gave Gaston a 19-15 lead.

Sophomore forward Lily Johnson hit Gaston’s only three of the night early in the third quarter, giving the Greyhounds their largest lead 22-17. But Gaston would hit only one more field goal, while Knappa got hot, with Weaver drilling a pair of treys and sophomore Sophia Carlson scoring on a rebound putback to put the Loggers back in front 26-22. After scoring on five of their first six possessions in the quarter, Knappa would not score again as Gaston pulled to within 26-25 headed into the final period.

Jordan scored and was fouled, but missed the free throw as Gaston regained a 27-26 lead with 6:34 remaining in the game. But Carlson stole the ball from Gaston point guard Julia Clark at midcourt and took it the distance for a layin to swing the lead back to the Loggers. On their next possession, Carlson missed a shot and Weaver missed on a follow-up attempt. Ramvick saved the rebound from going out of bounds and threw it in to Vandeburg behind the three point line. Knappa’s only senior starter calmly drained the Loggers’ fifth trey of the night, putting them up 31-27 with 5:13 to play.

Two-and-a-half minutes would pass before the next field goal as Daily Clark got a steal and coast-to-coast layin, making it 31-30 Knappa. After a flurry of turnovers, Hall got a steal and fed Jordan for a layup giving the Greyhounds the lead with 1:05 to go. But Weaver knocked in a “J” from just inside the left elbow of the lane. After a Gaston time out with 37 seconds to go, Taylor Bassel missed a short baseline jumper and Carlson snared the rebound. Forced to foul three times to put Knappa at the line, Carlson missed the front end of one-and-one and Johnson grabbed the rebound. After a time out with 10.4 seconds left, the Greyhounds lobbed an inbounds pass from the sideline underneath the hoop to Hall, who was immediately surrounded and had the ball slapped out of her hands. Now with 5.6 seconds remaining, Daisy Clark tried to inbound the ball under the basket, but Weaver picked it off. Gaston still had a chance after fouling Weaver when she missed a free throw with 4.4 seconds left. Hall got the board and pushed the ball down the court but it was knocked loose at midcourt and time expired as Knappa celebrated its third win of the season.

Weaver led Knappa’s scoring effort with nine points and Vandeburg added eight. The Loggers shot just 28-percent from the field (13-47), but hit 42-percent of their three-point shots (5-12). Weaver and Vandeburg each had a pair of treys. The Greyhounds shot 30-percent for the game (13-43), but were just 1-for-9 from three. The Loggers outrebounded Gaston 41-29 with a 16-10 edge on the offensive glass. Four different Knappa players had five or more rebounds, led by Miller with nine and Vanderburg and Ramvick with eight each. Carlson scored all six of her points and had four steals in the second half. Weaver had six steals and five rebounds and Miller ahd four steals and two assists to go with five points.

Bassel led Gaston on the glass with seven rebounds. Hall finished well below her average with seven points, adding three blocks, three steals and four assists.

Gaston’s boys will try to extend their season with a loser-out playoff game at Neah-Kah-Nie Tuesday night.