SEASIDE — The regular season is over, and the state playoffs have not yet started.
It’s that time of year when teams are simply trying to live to play another day.
Monday’s winner — the Seaside Gulls, who managed to extend their season another 24 hours with a 44-40 victory over Scappoose, in a Cowapa League girls basketball playoff.
It was a close, but non-dramatic win for the Gulls, as neither team scored over the final four minutes of the game.
“We survived,” said Seaside coach Mike Hawes, whose team improves to 8-16 overall. “I don’t know if we thrived, but we survived. We make it hard on ourselves by giving the ball away too much, which makes it hard for us to get into an offense.”
With the victory, Seaside will have to go through the whole process again Tuesday (6 p.m. tip-off), as the Gulls play at Astoria for the third place spot in the league. Win or lose, Astoria’s ranking (14th) will move the Fishermen on to the Regional play-in round this weekend. Meanwhile, a loss could end the season for Seaside, ranked 24th.
Monday’s first half was a lop-sided free throw shooting contest, with the Gulls taking most of the shots.
Seaside made just three field goals over the first two quarters, but made up for it at the line. The Gulls made 13-of-18 free throws, to just 3-for-4 for Scappoose.
“(The Indians) were pressing us, so we had some fast-break opportunities,” Hawes said. “We made free throws in the second quarter. We didn’t make many baskets (1-for-9), but we made free throws. We scored enough to fend them off, and made just enough shots to keep a lead at the end.”
The one exciting stretch was a 9-2 run by Seaside to end the third period.
After the Indians had taken their largest lead at 31-28 with 2:40 left, Seaside’s Ruby Davis hit a short jumper that sparked the run. Annaka Garhofer scored on a layup, Emy Kiser drained a 3-pointer, and Bryre Babbitt followed a missed shot with a score in the final seconds, giving Seaside a 37-33 lead.
And the Gulls put the game away in the opening minutes of the fourth, as Davis scored her second basket and Babbitt banked in a 3-pointer for a 42-36 advantage. Babbitt finished with a game-high 16 points.
“Both teams are not very adept at peeling off points,” Hawes said. Of Babbitt’s bank shot, Hawes said, “We haven’t had a lot of banked-in shots, so maybe we were due to get a little lucky. Bryre made some big shots tonight.
“We’ll take it,” he said. “It will be harder tomorrow night at Astoria.”
Astoria won the two regular season games this year, but the Gulls have a good track record in league playoff meetings with the Fishermen.
In four league playoff games since the 1999-2000 season, Seaside holds a 4-0 advantage, with victories in 2000, 2003, 2008 and 2012.
Monday’s loss was the final game for the Indians — not just for the season, but Scappoose’s last appearance as a member of the Cowapa League. Scappoose jumps to the Class 5A level next school year.
The Indians were 3-2 after five games this season, but were 2-16 over their final 18 games. The Gulls, meanwhile, overcame a five-game losing streak midway through the season, and have won five of their last 11.