Samantha Woodley figures to keep firing away from long range.
“I don’t think (coach Larry Hoff) cares as long as I’m making them like that,” the Toutle Lake sophomore said Friday after scoring a career-high 30 points in a 58-43 State 2B girls semifinal victory against Northwest Christian at the Arena.
“Sometimes in practice I’ll go 5-6 feet behind the 3-point line, just messing around, and make it,” said Woodley, who finished 5 of 15 from long range. “If I’m open, I’m just going to shoot it, especially in a game like tonight.”
The Ducks (25-0) will play for their first state title at 5 tonight against Colfax (23-6), which used its defensive prowess to pull away from Northeast 2B rival St. George’s 47-27 in the day’s second semifinal.
Toutle Lake lost to Reardan in the 2011 championship game, when Woodley was the team’s water girl. Colfax has won seven titles since 2002, including six under current coach Corey Baerlocher.
NWC (27-2), last year’s state runner-up, will play St. George’s (16-15) for third and fifth places at 11:15 a.m. NWC has beaten St. George’s by 30 and 17 points this season.
Toutle Lake wore down NWC after the Crusaders had pulled within two points with 3:47 left in the third period. Woodley responded with 12 points, including two 3-pointers, as the Ducks patched together a 14-3 run for a 49-36 lead.
“We thought we had them gasping,” Hoff said. “You start making mental mistakes when you lose your wind. We thought we could keep pressuring them and eventually they would start turning the ball over.”
NWC finished with 19 turnovers, 10 more than the Ducks.
“I knew they had good shooters and we had to play a good game to beat them,” Crusaders coach Tamara Frost said. “They’re a great team and they work hard and we just didn’t have it today.”
The Ducks definitely caught the eye of Colfax’s Baerlocher.
“Holy cow, we’re going to have to eat some Wheaties because they’re strong, they’re physical and they set some pretty darned hard screens,” Baerlocher said after his Bulldogs held St. George’s to 11-for-45 shooting from the field.
Nicole Sheer, coming off Thursday’s career-high 26 points, again led Colfax, scoring 14 points with seven rebounds.