It’s hard to imagine that Colton, in winning 43 straight games, struggled as mightily on offense as it did Saturday night.
But they don’t give championship trophies based on style points and with five straight 1B titles on their resume, the Wildcats kept plugging away.
Eventually Colton ran it’s winning streak to 44, defeating a game Tekoa-Oakesdale 68-32 in the State 1B championship at the Arena for yes, the Wildcats’ sixth straight championship.
They did it with a dominating 24-0 third quarter that turned a 33-26 halftime lead into a 57-26 blowout
“Gotta wear ’em down,” Colton senior Jenna Moser said. “It’s all about who can last longest, who can run for three days. I trust our system whole-heartedly. I trust our coach whole-heartedly.”
Colton shot 25 of 76, with 11 of the baskets 3-pointers, but it doesn’t matter because only the final score counts.
Zoe Moser had 26 points, Jenna Moser 22 and Samantha Chadwick 11 for Colton. Mattie Jo Johnson had 14 for the Nighthawks.
Give T-O credit. The Nighthawks were clipped in the three previous meetings this year by scores of 67-18, 69-29 and 62-28.
In this one the only reason they trailed 33-26 at the half is because Zoe Moser had five 3-pointers and 19 points for Colton.
“We did a triangle and pretty much put two people on Jenna Moser, but Zoe had 19 or 20 points by halftime,” Tekoa-Oakesdale coach Dan Brown explained. “The second half we did the same thing, but one on Zoe and one on Jenna and obviously we ran out of gas.”
Zoe Moser said, “That was kind of the reason it was so close because (Jenna) couldn’t do exactly as she wanted. It’s a good plan, she’s the one you need to guard.”
“We weren’t hitting … but I felt like we were getting great looks at the basket,” said Colton coach Clark Vining, who declined to take a timeout and encouraged the girls to keep firing away.
“Timeouts aren’t something we call,” he said. “We want the pace to be up and down the floor. We didn’t want the other team to get any rest. I’m confident in these guys. We play a lot of basketball together. I know what kind of competitors they are. You saw it there in the third quarter.”
Yes, the third quarter was a different story. Colton kept hucking it, missing seven straight shots. But just like that the Wildcats scored on seven straight possessions, four of them Jenna Moser layups, and missed just one shot.
The Nighthawks were 0-10 from the field, 0-6 from the line and committed eight turnovers.
Tekoa-Oakesdale finished 11 of 46 from the field, 8 of 23 from the line and had 27 turnovers.
“They stepped it up in the second half and added some pressure,” Brown said. “Pressure after pressure and turnover after turnover…. We got tired but second place, you can’t complain about that.”
Jenna Moser, who leaves with 1,477 career points, said the last title was the best.
“Each one is a little different feeling but I’m so thankful it ended this way,” she said.
Zoe added, “She’s such an amazing player and it’s a great honor to have played with her.”