Panther girls close in on league championship

Washougal could clinch tonight at home against Columbia River

Tianna Barnett, Beyonce Bea and Toryi Midland ripped away rebounds.

McKinley Stotts scored seven points during a critical stretch in the fourth quarter.

When the dust finally settled in the jungle, the Washougal Panthers defeated the Mark Morris Monarchs 46-40 Monday to remain all alone in first place in league.

“Even when we get down, our team still continues to work together,” said captain Lindsey Thomas. “We want to get every board, every steal and every point so we can get the win.”

Mason Oberg nailed two 3-pointers in the game’s first six minutes, and Kiara Cross ringed in a three, to give the Panthers a 15-6 lead in the first quarter.

Washougal coasted into halftime leading by seven. A 16-6 swing by Mark Morris in the third quarter put the Panthers down by three.

Stotts hit a 3-pointer from up top to tie the score at 38-38. She drove to the basket two more times and scored four more points to put Washougal out front 42-38 with 3 minutes, 23 seconds left.

“We told McKinley that a moment like this could happen,” said head coach Brian Oberg. “She attacked from the weak side and hit a big three. To see a freshman step up at the end is pretty exciting.”

Mason Oberg finished the game with 16 points and seven rebounds. Bea had nine points, 10 rebounds and two blocks. Stotts collected eight points and five rebounds. Barnett earned eight rebounds and four points.

“Everyone put everything on the floor. It was just a great game,” Barnett said. “And the crowd was wild. Did you hear them?”

Washougal defeated Columbia River 48-39 Tuesday. Bea led the attack with 16 points. Stotts had the hot hand again with four threes for a dozen points. Oberg also scored 12.

The Panthers are one win away from the league championship. They can clinch it tonight at home against Columbia River. Tipoff is at 7 p.m.

“For my senior year, it would be awesome to come out with a league championship,” Thomas said. “And then go on to districts and state, and try to do better than we did last year.”