Panther girls net first league title in decades

Coming off a fourth place finish at the state tournament, the Washougal High School basketball team took the next step by winning the 2A Greater St. Helens League championship.

“Talking with our seniors at the end of last year, they wanted us to try and get to a new goal this year. They wanted us to get better,” said team captain Lindsey Thomas. “It was so cool to be able to get first on our own, to show them that we’re carrying on the legacy they left behind and adding to it.”

Washougal and Mark Morris shared the league title last season. This year, the Panthers beat the Monarchs both times. It has been more than 30 years since Washougal has won the league championship outright.

“Losing as much fire power as we have over the last few seasons, it would have been easy for these girls to just plod along and see how things might go,” said head coach Brian Oberg. “They set their sights high and wanted to keep the ball rolling and prove the culture here is to push for the top at all times.”

Woodland was the only team in the league to defeat Washougal this season.

On Monday, the Panthers earned redemption by beating the Beavers 63-44. Washougal jumped out to a 21-0 lead in the first quarter.

Beyonce Bea scored 21 points and grabbed 14 rebounds. Mason Oberg added 17 points and seven assists. Toryi Midland earned eight points and five blocks. Thomas had seven points and five assists. Tianna Barnett finished with six points and eight rebounds.

“The girls were really focused and dialed in for this one,” said coach Oberg.

Washougal (13-4) will host Tumwater in the first round of the playoffs Friday. Tip off is at 7 p.m.

Senior Kaitlyn Reijonen thanks the Washougal fans for their support.

“It gives us the courage to want to win,” she said.