MOLALLA — A 22-5 run by Molalla in the second quarter proved to be the difference Friday night, in a first-round Class 4A state playoff girls basketball game.

The big rally gave the Indians a 28-11 halftime lead, on their way to a 53-29 win over Astoria.

Molalla (13-11 overall) advances to the Sweet 16, while the season comes to a close for the Lady Fishermen, 15-10.

The game was tied 6-6 after one quarter before Molalla’s big run in the second period, while Astoria could never get into a rhythm offensively.

Brooklynn Hankwitz scored a team-high 12 points for the Lady Fishermen, who were 10-of-59 from the field, which included 2-for-20 on 3-pointers. Hankwitz also hauled in 10 rebounds, despite first-half foul trouble.

The Indians were playing their fifth Cowapa League team of the season, with wins over Astoria, Seaside and Scappoose and losses to Banks and Valley Catholic.

Molalla’s Alicia Schultz led all scorers with 16 points. Freshman teammate Zoe Wood added 12.

“We stayed with them the first quarter, but that was it,” said Astoria coach Mike Jacobson. “Our inexperience really showed its colors tonight. We didn’t play anywhere near we were capable of playing.

“But it’s a learning experience and they need to learn from it,” he said. “We are definitely going to miss the four seniors (McKenzie Burnett, Taylor Feldman, Libbie Nash, McKailyn Rogers). They showed up every day and worked hard on and off the court.”

With four of their five starters returning next year, Jacobson said, “We have a strong nucleus of younger players coming back, with a lot of varsity experience. There will not be any excuses going into next year. They know what needs to get done to get to the next level, and I expect them to take the steps to get there.”

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