There are very few close games in Northwest League girls basketball, if Thursday night’s games were any indication.

Scores from the night included: Portland Christian 43, Nestucca 26; Vernonia 47, Columbia Christian 17; and Faith Bible 70, Neah-Kah-Nie 37.

Thursday’s game at Knappa took top honors as the closest, as the Lady Loggers defeated Mannahouse Christian, 56-42.

With a spot in the league playoffs almost secured, Knappa (5-9 in league) can still finish fourth with wins in its final two games vs. Columbia Christian (4-9) and Nestucca (6-7).

As for Thursday’s win, Madelynn Weaver scored 15 points with six steals to lead the Loggers.

“Mannahouse has some very talented, versatile players who can hurt you from the outside and get to the rim,” said Knappa coach Tracie Brockey. “Madelynn and Katelynn Weaver were given our toughest defensive assignments of the night, and held Mannahouse’s (usual) highest scorers, Marlei Knox and Emilee Owen, to zero and seven points, respectively.”

She added, “We knew by overplaying them that we’d be sacrificing something else, but it payed off tonight. We wanted to keep Awek Di Piok, their 6-3 center, off the glass, particular offensive rebound put-backs. And while we significantly limited her shots in the paint (only three field goals there), she hit four 3-pointers.”

The Knappa posts “did a great job rotating on (Di Piok) and being physical in the paint,” Brockey said. “We made some adjustments, and our girls consistently responded when it seemed like Mannahouse was making a comeback.”

The Loggers led from start to finish, although the Lions closed to within 40-39 early in the fourth quarter.

From there, a basket by Sophia Carlson sparked a 16-3 run by the Loggers.

Knappa had seven players in the scoring column and six players with steals. Carlson had 12 points, seven steals and eight rebounds, while Katelynn Weaver added nine points, five assists and five steals.

“Our girls came to play tonight, hard-nosed Logger basketball,” Brockey said. “I’m proud of their effort and resiliency. I am hopeful that we bring that in our next two games to fight for that last spot in playoffs.

“That puts the pressure on us to keep taking care of business and fight for wins,” she said. “As a team we talk about how pressure can burst pipes or build diamonds, and we are working toward the latter.”

Gary Henley is a sports reporter for The Astorian. Contact him at 503-861-8493 or ghenley@dailyastorian.com.

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