Colton girls basketball coach Clark Vining stresses defense.
“That’s our No. 1 concern, believe it or not,” Vining said.
Certainly it’s a major reason why the unbeaten Wildcats are chasing after their fourth straight State 1B championship beginning Thursday in the Spokane Arena.
But it doesn’t totally explain the offensive explosion in their 95-19 dismantling of Trout Lake/Glenwood during the state-qualifying regional Saturday at University.
Colton (23-0) scored 56 points in the first half and limited TL/Glenwood (14-8) to four points in the second half.
The Wildcats’ offensive footwork and body positioning was as impressive as the defense, which forced at least 30 turnovers. Their nearly 70 percent shooting included 14 3-pointers.
“Obviously, they are pretty talented players,” Vining said. “They play a lot of basketball in the summer. And the big thing is they share the ball, so well it doesn’t matter who scores. We’ve had eight players in double figures this year.”
Colton had four in doubles in this game. The Moser sisters, senior Haley (25 points) and sophomore Jenna (21 off the bench) had nearly half and combined for eight 3-pointers with scarcely a miss. Haley hit all five she took in the second half. Both had their turns resting while their teammates got their work in.
“We spend a lot of time shooting after practice,” Jenna said.
“We’re always shooting,” said Haley, alluding to work in summer.
Colton, with a victory margin of about 40 points per game, ran off 21 in a row in the second quarter, 17 straight in the third and scored the last 20 points of the game, even while running the 30-second clock down to the end, but scoring anyway.
The Wildcats graduated two double-figure scorers from last year’s team.
“We play a lot of kids in games and it rolls over for us (the following year),” Vining said. “This is one of the deepest teams I’ve had. They love to play together.”
Sunnyside Christian 62, St. John-Endicott 29: The Knights ripped off the first eight points of the game and, leading 28-17, had a 21-0 run beginning early in the third quarter and into the fourth to join Colton at state.
The Knights had three players in double figures, led by Kara Den Hoed’s 18.
Rachel Gfeller’s 10 paced the Eagles (14-10) as their season ended.