The Wahkiakum County Eagle - Established as The Skamokawa Eagle in 1891

Lady Mules place 4th at state

Overcome Life Christian, Ilwaco after opening round loss to Napavine


Chris Johnson

L-r, Coach Rob Garrett, Maddy Mace, Macie Elliott, Paige Mace, Ellie Leitz show some spirit after defeating the Ilwaco Lady Fisherman 50-49 to claim the fourth place trophy in the state Class 2B basketball tournament.

After a tough start, the Wahkiakum girls basketball team won the next two games to claim fourth place at the 2018 State 2B tournament in Spokane last week.

The team started the tournament on Thursday in the quarterfinals against Napavine, a team that had proved to be troublesome for them earlier this year. The Lady Mules struggled on offense, shooting 20 percent from two point range and 23 percent from three point range. It proved to be their undoing, and they lost to the Tigers 53-27.

Macie Elliott led scoring with nine points. Ellie Leitz had six points and seven rebounds. Maddy Mace scored five points. Jansi Merz had four points. Charlie Ashe finished the game with three points.

"It just wasn't our day," Coach Rob Garrett said.

Napavine 10 7 13 23 --53

Wahkiakum 9 8 3 7 --27

On Friday in the loser bracket in a loser out game, the Lady Mules faced Life Christian for the second time this season and for the second time, 48-44, in overtime.

Paige Mace scored 14 points. Elliott added 14 points, seven rebounds, and three steals. Merz scored eight points and pulled down eight rebounds. Leitz had six points and 11 rebounds. M. Mace added thee points.

Wahkiakum 11 2 11 14 10 --48

LCA 10 10 12 6 6 --44

On Saturday, the Lady Mules edged Ilwaco in a 50-49 thriller to bring home a fourth place trophy. Ilwaco had been ranked the number one team going into the state tournament and had beaten the Lady Mules twice this season.

Elliott and P. Mace scored 10 points apiece. Merz scored 10 points. Ashe had six points. Mckensie Fluckiger and Leitz had five points. M. Mace, Alexandra Watkins, and Kimberly Watkins finished the game with two points apiece.

Ilwaco 10 14 11 14 --49

Wahkiakum 7 15 16 12 --50

"It was an emotional season," Garrett said on Monday. "It ended almost as good as it could have. We had tons of ups and downs this year, but in the final game and a half, everything we had worked on so hard came together. The team was able to turn the page, come together and become a real family. Everyone forgot about their own individual agendas and came together for one greater goal."

He had a lot of praise for his entire team.

The bench: "There is no one that can honestly argue that there is a team out there whose bench has as much fun as ours."

The freshmen: "Paige (Mace) and Jansi (Merz) both had a great season, but really had some light bulbs click in the final game. They both improved so much I can't wait to coach them and watch them grow for the next three years."

The eighth graders: "It was great to have the Watkins twins (Alexandra and Kimberly) step up and play crucial minutes in the final game. They shut down one of the best posts in the state."

The juniors: "My juniors also played a great final game. Kenny (Mckensi Fluckiger) knocked down a huge three and Charlie (Ashe) not only played awesome defense, but finally came out of her shell offensively. Ellie (Leitz) was a rebounding machine and made some great kick outs since they were doubling down on her in the post. Macie (Elliott) battled through what turned out to be a broken finger along with a few other ailments and was still able to hit some clutch shots and run down Eliza (Bannister, Ilwaco) on the final play."

Chris Johnson

Maddy Mace, the team's lone senior, drives the key against Life Christian.

The senior: "As for Maddy (Mace), Maddy is simply the reason they all came together. It was her last shot and we wanted to send her out the best way possible. Maddy hit clutch shots and played locked down defense. But probably more than any stat, Maddy was our spark every time things didn't look great. She was always the one to make that crazy sliding play to get us the ball back. She was fun to watch because of the heart she played with."

"I haven't had as much fun coaching a game from start to finish as I did in our final game," Garrett said. "I love this group and was so proud to watch them overcome their challenges right before our eyes. They were successful in continuing to build that Wahkiakum girls basketball tradition and I can't wait to watch it grow."

Correction: In an early posting of this story, we mixed up photos of sisters Maddy and Paige Mace. That has been corrected.


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