TILLAMOOK - On the line Thursday night in Tillamook - a long road trip or a state playoff game at home, as Yamhill-Carlton and Astoria met in a Cowapa League girls basketball tie-breaker playoff.
Staying home will be Astoria, as the Lady Fishermen defeated the Tigers for the second time in a little over a week, this time scoring a 44-34 victory to earn their first state playoff contest at home since 2002 (when Astoria topped Burns 34-32).
Astoria will host the No. 3 team out of the Capital League (to be decided Saturday between Gladstone and Cascade), while Yamhill travels to the No. 3 team from the Sky-Em League (winner of Marist vs. either Sisters or Junction City).
Jordan Thoreson scored 14 points and pulled down 10 rebounds in Thursday's win, while Kayce Lilley added nine points and three assists.
Astoria jumped out to a 14-4 lead before Yamhill closed the first half on a 7-0 run.
The Fishermen maintained a 10-point lead for much of the second half before the Tigers closed to within five points in the fourth quarter. Astoria made 13-of-23 free throws in the second half to pull away.
"We're peaking at the right time," said Astoria coach Jeff Leo. "We came here to win tonight. Everybody is saying the No. 3 seed has the easier route (to the state tournament), but we wanted to win tonight - we don't care who we play on Wednesday.
"It will just be nice to host a state playoff game," he said. "That hasn't happened in a while at Astoria."
Astoria 44, Yamhill-Carlton 34
Yamhill 4 7 8 15-34
Astoria 6 8 10 20-44
YC (34): Elle Anderson 10, Skuzeski 8, Apke 7, Larson 6, Webb 2, Findley, Bellwood, Durfee, Fox, Harder.
Ast (44): Jordan Thoreson 14, Lilley 9, Brooks 6, Houghtaling 6, Rudolfi 4, Coggins 4, Ward 1, McGinnis, Norris, Gauthier, Israel, Parker.