Sun Dome dreams

Panther girls rise to fourth place at state

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State box scores

Saturday - Fourth place game

WASHOUGAL 50, BLACK HILLS 28

WASHOUGAL (22-6) — Alyssa Blankenship 14, Beyonce Bea 10, Maggie Hungerford 9, Lindsey Thomas 6, Kiara Cross 5, RaeAnn Allen 4, Alissa Lenczowski 2, Sarah Shilling 0, Ashley Gibbons 0, Katilyn Reijonen 0, Sierra Carroll 0, Kayla Donahue 0.

Rebounds: Blankenship 17, Bea 11, Allen 7, Thomas 3, Lenczowski 2, Hungerford 2. Assists: Blankenship 6, Allen 3, Thomas 1, Cross 1. Steals: Allen 2, Bea 2, Lenczowski 1, Thomas 1, Hungerford 1, Cross 1, Donohoe 1. Blocks: Bea 2.

Washougal 15 11 9 15—50

Black Hills 5 16 1 6—28

Friday - Consolation semifinal

WASHOUGAL 43, ANACORTES 32

WASHOUGAL (21-6) — Alyssa Blankenship 19, Beyonce Bea 10, Lindsey Thomas 4, RaeAnn Allen 4, Sierra Carroll 3, Maggie Hungerford 1, Katilyn Reijonen 2, Alissa Lenczowski 0, Ashley Gibbons 0, Kiara Cross 0.

Rebounds: Bea 6, Allen 5, Reijonen 4, Thomas 3, Lenczowski 2, Blankenship 2, Cross 1. Assists: Allen 2. Steals: Blankenship 9, Thomas 3, Allen 2, Bea 2, Carroll 1, Hungerford 1, Gibbons 1. Blocks: Bea 1, Lenczowski 1.

Washougal 15 9 5 14—43

Anacortes 7 5 11 9 —32

Thursday - Quarterfinal

SHORECREST 59, WASHOUGAL 42

WASHOUGAL (20-6) — Alyssa Blankenship 18, Beyonce Bea 9, RaeAnn Allen 6, Lindsey Thomas 2, Alissa Lenczowski 2, Maggie Hungerford 2, Sarah Shilling 0, Ashley Gibbons 3, Kiara Cross 0, Katilyn Reijonen 0, Sierra Carroll 0, Kayla Donahue 0.

Rebounds: Blankenship 7, Bea 7, Allen 7, Thomas 3, Lenczowski 2, Hungerford 2, Cross 1, Gibbons 1. Assists: Bea 2, Allen 2, Thomas 1, Gibbons 1, . Steals: Allen 2, Blankenship 2, Bea 2, Thomas 2, Hungerford 2, Carroll 1. Blocks: Blankenship 1, Allen 1, Thomas 1, Donohoe 1.

Shorecrest 11 14 20 14—59

Washougal 7 9 11 15—42

Top six Panther points scorers

1) Krissy Bassett 1,351, 2002-2006

2) Alyssa Blankenship 1,241, 2012-2016

3) Kim (Rink) Daniels 1,169, 1979-1983

4) RaeAnn Allen 875, 2012-2016

5) Megan Sharp 522, 2012-2014

6) Beyonce Bea 408, 2015-Current

Career stats

  • Alyssa Blankenship: 1,241 points, 535 rebounds, 348 steals, 215 assists and 60 blocks.
  • RaeAnn Allen: 875 points, 496 rebounds, 219 assists, 198 steals and 67 blocks.
  • Beyonce Bea: 408 points, 234 rebounds and 46 blocks in her freshman year.
  • Star Panthers

    After a 22-point shredding of the Black Hills Wolves, the Washougal Panthers stood on the floor at the Yakima Sun Dome for the last time Saturday with a fourth-place state tournament trophy held high.

    “I don’t have any words to describe this. It’s an amazing feeling,” said senior guard RaeAnn Allen. “Alyssa [Blankenship] and I spent countless hours in different gyms to make it here. There wasn’t a day that has gone by without somebody on this team pushing me to get better.

    “This is the first true team I have ever been on,” she added. “I’m sad that it’s over, but I wouldn’t have wanted to go out any other way. I love these girls.”

    Blankenship scored seven points in the first few minutes. Washougal never looked back, leading coast-to-coast on the way to a 50-28 victory.

    Blankenship finished with 14 points in the game and 1,241 in her career. She is in the record books as second place all-time at Washougal High School.

    “You take all those points Alyssa scored, those 14 today are the biggest in her career,” said Brian Oberg, a proud head coach. “Those who have seen or played against Alyssa know that she’s a grinder. No matter how many minutes I play her, or how many fouls she has, she just works and works.

    “She will be sorely missed in this program,” he added. “She definitely left her mark. Scoring, rebounding, steals, assists and attitude all across the board. If you wanted to paint a picture of a team captain, it would be Alyssa Blankenship.”

    The future’s bright

    This was the final basketball game in a Washougal Panther uniform for Blankenship, Allen, Sierra Carroll and Alissa Lenczowski.

    There’s nothing like the present for the Panthers, but the future is also bright. Sophomore Maggie Hungerford scored nine points off the bench. Once she hit the first basket, she had the eye of the Panther.

    “I got great passes from my teammates. I couldn’t have done it without them,” Hungerford said. “I’m hoping we make it here every year. Our seniors taught us a lot in practice and every game. We want to follow in their footsteps.”

    Freshman Kiara Cross netted four points. She was on the receiving end of a long pass by Blankenship and put it off the glass for two like a pro. Freshman Ashley Gibbons hit 3-pointers here and there during the state and district tournaments.

    And then, there’s freshman Beyonce Bea. She scored 29 points and grabbed 24 rebounds in the state tournament.

    “She’s one of the smartest players we have out there,” Oberg said. “She’s ready for anything, and she doesn’t get rattled.”

    A year to remember

    Fourth place at state is the best finish by a Washougal girls team in school history. The Panthers made it to state back in 1983, but lost two straight.

    There was a changing of the guard in 2016. For the last three years, Mark Morris has played in the state championship game and won it all in 2013 and 2015. On Friday, the Monarchs were eliminated by Black Hills and went home without a trophy.

    Black Hills defeated Washougal in the district semifinal Feb. 15. When these two teams clashed again 19 days later at the Yakima Sun Dome, it was all Washougal.

    “For years, we have been on the outside looking in at teams like Mark Morris and Black Hills,” Oberg said. “To have little Washougal be one of the last teams standing; it means a lot to this town.”

    It’s a new day

    Washougal played its first game in the Sun Dome against eventual state champion Shorecrest. The Scots defeated the Panthers 59-42. Blankenship scored 18 points and grabbed seven rebounds, but the Panthers could never turn the tide.

    The Washougal girls flipped the script Friday, with a 43-32 victory against Anacortes. The win gave the Panthers one more game to play together for a trophy.

    “We’re making history for Washougal, one step at a time,” Allen said. “Bringing home something with all our names on it is an incredible feeling.”

    Team is the name of the game

    Blankenship caught a finger to the eye in the opening minutes of Friday’s game against Anacortes. She missed her two foul shots, but got to the loose ball off the rim and fed it to Bea for two points. Bea also converted the “And One” to give the Panthers control of the scoreboard the rest of the way.

    “It boosted my confidence, and it boosted the whole team’s confidence,” Bea said. “We just got on a roll.”

    Carroll entered the game after Blankenship had to sit out with three fouls. The refs whistled Carroll for charging on her first attempt at the basket, but she was only more determined. On the next possession for Washougal, Carroll nailed a 3-pointer.

    “It was really exciting to come out and help my team. It’s nice to know when I’m needed, I’m there,” she said. “It’s not about the individual minutes you get. It’s more about the minutes you play as a team together.”

    The Panthers led by 12 points at halftime, and came up with a big sequence to start the third quarter. Allen took aim from behind the arc, but the ball bounced off the rim. Lenczowski grabbed the rebound, passed the ball back out to Allen, and she swung it over to Blankenship for another 3-point shot. This one went in. A big moment for these three seniors.

    Overtime; back to work early

    The Panthers won three overtime games to get to play in the Sun Dome. They had no idea they would be tipping off at 9 a.m. Thursday and Friday, and an hour earlier Saturday.

    “We never sleep during these tournament weekends,” Allen said. “It’s like getting up for a school day. This is the basketball we grew up with.”

    So hard to say goodbye

    Oberg said Allen, Blankenship, Carroll and Lenczowski, and Haley Briggs and Crystal Chase, Mackenzie Kitchen, Jolynn Wenick and Brenna Vargo before them, changed the way basketball is played in Washougal forever.

    Getting these girls to the Sun Dome was the goal since they became Panthers.

    Bringing home the program’s first a state tournament trophy for Washougal to have forever is the icing on the cake.

    “I look back at all of the hard work and dedication by these girls since before they were in high school,” Oberg said. “This is where you end up because of it.”

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