Panthers carve up Lumberjills

The Washougal girls also beat Hockinson to go to 3-1 in league play

RaeAnn Allen (14) and Alyssa Blankenship battle two Lumberjills for the rebound Thursday, at Washougal High School. The Panthers defeated R.A. Long 63-53. Buy this photo

The Washougal girls also beat Hockinson to go to 3-1 in league play

The Washougal High School girls are ahead of the curve after the first run through league.

Besides a 44-point loss to defending 2A state champion Mark Morris, the Panthers took care of business against Ridgefield, Hockinson and R.A. Long.

“We’re still climbing. All the teams have seen us, but we still haven’t played our best,” said head coach Brian Oberg. “Districts is what these girls want. Second place in league has been on their minds since day one.”

Washougal defeated R.A. Long 63-53 Thursday, at home. Alyssa Blankenship fired 14 of her 21 points in the first half. She also had six rebounds and four steals in the game.

“We have the best teamwork, I think,” Blankenship said. “We’re just getting closer and closer to districts.”

Haley Briggs scored 16 of her 18 points in the second half. She finished with five rebounds and five steals in the game.

“We just pushed through everything,” Briggs said. “They talked a lot before the game and they talked a lot during the game. I’m just proud that we kept playing our game.”

Crystal Chase and Blankenship nailed 3-pointers in the first quarter to give the Panthers an 18-13 advantage. Blankenship added another three in the second quarter, and Jolynn Wenick netted six points, as Washougal built a 34-24 lead at halftime.

The Lumberjills opened the third quarter on a 6-0 run. Briggs then hit a big three to swing the momentum back in favor of the Panthers.

Briggs and Blankenship converted 3-point plays at the foul line to give Washougal a 21-point lead in the fourth quarter. The Panthers got into some foul trouble, and R.A. Long narrowed the gap to 10 points.

Briggs won a scramble under the net for two points. RaeAnn Allen also had a rebound and put back for the Panthers.

“They started to come back, but we just kept pushing it,” Briggs said. “That’s what you need in order to win games.”

Washougal beat Hockinson 52-49 Jan. 21, at Hockinson.

The Panthers built a 26-17 advantage, but their lead evaporated by halftime. Washougal regained control with a 12-7 third quarter and held on for the victory.

Blankenship had 15 points and nine rebounds. Allen added eight points and eight rebounds.