Valley Catholic senior Josie Napoli scored 28 points but the Valiants needed help off the bench to hold off a big second half rally by Seaside in a Cowapa League girls game on the Gulls’ home floor.
The Valiants ultimately won, 59-46, in a game much closer than the score.
Trailing 32-16 at halftime, the Gulls played their best quarter of the season in the third, as they outscored Valley Catholic 11-1 to start the period to close within 33-27.
A 3-pointer by Tristyn McFadden, coupled with baskets by Lilli Taylor and Landri Mickle sparked Seaside, which continued the comeback in the fourth quarter.
Free throws by Caleigh Peterson trimmed the Valiant lead to 44-39 with over five minutes remaining.
That’s as close as the Gulls would get, as Valley Catholic answered with a three-point play by Napoli and a score by Mariella Gunther.
The Valiants closed with an 8-3 run, but Seaside coach Marla Olstedt was proud of her team, 2-2 over their last four games, following a 1-3 start.
“These girls are playing so hard,” she said. “We talked at halftime about chipping away, and they did just that. With our halftime adjustments, we were able to slow (the Valiants’) scoring and push the ball to get some easy scores. We controlled the momentum and things were going our way.”
The Gulls “played one of their best quarters of the season,” she said. “Now if we can put four of those great quarters together, I’d say watch out.
“For such a short season, these girls have really stepped into their positions well,” she added. “From our post play, primarily being Lilli (18 points) and Caleigh (15 points) to our guard play, we’re playing well together. I told them I was proud of their ability to learn what we often do in a five-month season. These girls are relentless and resilient. I’m proud of their effort.”
The Gulls were playing without Abby Nofield and Erin Owsley, and Aubrie Taylor went down with an injury, but should return Friday at Astoria.