The Davenport Gorillas turned in one of their best defensive efforts at an important time in their season.
The Gorillas held the Ilwaco Fisherman to 19-percent shooting and only eight field goals, winning 44-20 in the girls State 2B semifinal Friday at the Arena.
Davenport moves on to face Kalama in tonight’s championship game at 7.
“That was a great (defensive) effort by all of us,” Davenport head coach Stacia Soliday said. “I really did not think (44-20) was going to be the final score. But we did a good job.”
The Gorillas trailed early, but a 3-pointer by sophomore Sydney Zeiler gave them an early 9-7 lead.
The Gorillas took the lead for good thanks to another Zeiler 3-pointer a minute into the second quarter. From there, the Davenport defense stood up.
“Those were some great outside shots in the first half,” Soliday said. “(Zeiler) puts in a lot of extra time with her dad after practice and it’s paid off for her.”
Zeiler led the way for the Gorillas with 15 points. All four of her field goals were 3-pointers.
Sydney Abbott added 14 points while Madison Abbott brought down 11 rebounds – 10 on defense.
Davenport frustrated Ilwaco throughout the game. The Fisherman had only five players score. Ilwaco’s head coach showed his frustration and picked up a technical foul near the end of the third quarter.
The teams played a quirky fourth quarter, with all but two of Davenport’s 12 points coming from the free-throw line. Ilwaco managed only five points and two field goals during the final frame.
The Gorillas have the luxury of sleeping in their own beds each night, as Soliday said the team chose to do that for the comfort. It’s an easy 45-minute drive to the Arena from Davenport.
Ilwaco, on the other hand, traveled about 430 miles – depending on the route – to get to Spokane.
Despite the distance, Davenport was at least a little familiar with the Fisherman.
“We did have film,” Soliday said. “One of our parents went over and filmed them a couple weeks ago. It was still kind of hard because what we see on film doesn’t really do it justice from what we see on the court.”
Davenport will play for the state title for the first time since it took second to St. George’s in 1994. The Gorillas won the state title in 1993 over St. George’s.
Kalama 61 Wahkiakum 48: The Chinooks booked a ticket to the state title game with a dominating win over the Mules.
The Chinooks used a big second quarter to take a 38-19 lead at halftime. They never looked back.
Parker Esary led the way for Kalama with 16 points. McKenna Laroy scored 14.
Macie Elliott led Wahkiakum with a game-high 17 points.
This is the Chinooks’ first year at the 2B level after moving down from 1A. The Chinooks have never won a state title.