The Warrenton Lady Warriors are closing in on the Clatskanie Tigers, in Coastal Range League girls basketball.
Yes, the Tigers have won three straight — but the games are getting progressively closer.
From Clatskanie’s 67-31 win over Warrenton on Jan. 2, the Tigers have narrowly escaped with two 10-point wins in the last two meetings, including 57-47 Friday night.
The next time they meet — in the league playoffs — don’t be surprised if the Warriors come away with the win.
Warrenton got close in the latest meeting at Clatskanie, leading 24-15 after one quarter.
“The girls were amazing tonight against one of the best teams in the state,” said Warrenton coach Robert Hoepfl. “We lost, but the score doesn’t tell the story. We played our best quarter, maybe ever, in the first.”
Warrenton’s Kenzie Ramsey (17 points) and Claire Bussert (13) “outscored Clatskanie’s two all-state players (Shelby Blodgett and Olivia Sprague) and played unreal on both ends,” Hoepfl said. “Claire outplayed their guard on both ends and I am just super proud of the season she is putting together.”
Ramsey, meanwhile, moved into first all-time on the school’s list for most 3-pointers in a season, breaking a mark set by Tyla Little just last year.
But, Clatskanie rallied from an eventual 12-point deficit in the first half, to within 31-28 by halftime.
Blodgett took over in the second half, as she finished with 11 rebounds and eight steals, in addition to her 17 points.
Alexis Smith added 14 points, and Kaity Sizemore finished 10 points and 10 boards for the Tigers, who had four players in double figures.
Clatskanie improves to 9-0 in league to Warrenton’s 7-3.
“We outplayed them for long stretches, and unfortunately had a tough three-minute stretch in the second (quarter) and some weird calls in the third,” Hoepfl said.
“They deserve the league title,” he said of the Tigers, who won their first league title since 1995, and just the third in the program’s history, the first being in 1974.
On Warrenton’s side, Hoepfl said, “Fernanda Alvarez rebounded well and had a great fourth quarter inside, scoring nine points. Avyree Miethe played her best varsity game, scoring two points, but more importantly fighting for rebounds and making rotations at an elite level.”
Adriana Dejesus “played maybe the best guard defensive game we have had in my four years,” he said, and “she did this while ill as well. Unreal effort.”
The Warriors finish the regular season this week with home games vs. Willamina and Rainier. Warrenton is a combined 4-0 against both.