Lady Gulls fly past Valiants

Seaside's Maddi Utti drives to the basket during a game against Valley Catholic on Tuesday in Seaside.

SEASIDE — The Seaside girls basketball team cleared one more obstacle Tuesday night between themselves and a Cowapa League title.

Seaside — ranked seventh in the latest 4A coaches poll — led from beginning to end in a 56-47 win over No. 8-ranked Valley Catholic.

After a game at Tillamook (0-3 in league) Friday, the Gulls (3-0) host Banks (3-0) next Tuesday, in Part I of a league championship showdown.

Maddi Utti scored 27 points to go with seven rebounds and five assists, while Sydney Villegas added 12 points and 10 boards in Tuesday’s win.

Seaside coach Mike Hawes said he was “just really pleased and hoping to keep getting better.” “I’m not really sure how good we are or can be, but we want to find out,” he said.

The Gulls led 20-14 after one quarter, before the Valiants rallied and tied the game at 26-26, on a 3-pointer by Matti Thurman.

Seaside answered with an offensive rebound basket from Bryre Babbitt and a layup by Sydney Villegas off a pass from Lucy Bodner, and the Gulls led 30-26 at halftime.

Valley Catholic managed to keep it close until midway through the third period, when a short jump shot by Utti sparked a 9-0 run, turning a 36-34 lead into a 45-34 lead.

Utti was 11-of-25 from the field, and Villegas 5-of-10.

“The seniors were tremendous,” Hawes said. “We just need Maddi and Sydney to be studs, and they were tonight, though they had to fight and struggle.”

The Gulls also had “great contributions from Jetta (Ideue) and Bryre, and Lucy just plays her heart out,” Hawes said. “Annaka Garhofer came off the bench to hit a couple 3’s to get us a nice margin in the first half.

“We got some separation in the third quarter and kind of shakily hung on the final four minutes,” he said. “We rebounded pretty well and only had 11 turnovers, though my brain thought we had a lot more.”

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