Moser, Colton return to state
ENDICOTT – Colton senior Kelsey Moser is no stranger to the state tournament, and Friday against St. John-Endicott she helped ensure the Wildcats would make the trip to Yakima for the fourth time in her career.
Moser scored 10 points with eight rebounds and Mollie Kramer added 14 points as the Wildcats (21-1) won the District 9 1B tournament title game 43-33.
“All the girls on our roster have been to Yakima and almost all of them have played there,” said Moser, who helped Colton to a state title a year ago. “We have a lot of good experience and we know how to handle it.”
That level of postseason experience was key in the game against the Eagles (19-3), who split the regular-season series with the Wildcats by winning Game 2 in Colton, handing them their only loss this season.
For the third encounter, the Wildcats adjusted their focus back to defense, coach Clark Vining said, holding SJE to 14 points by the half and 22 by the end of the third quarter. Aside from Alli Winters and Kelsey Simon, who combined for 22 points, no SJE player scored more than three points.
“Defensively is where we improved the most from the last time we played them,” Vining said. “They were able to score 56 last time, so holding them to 33 this time was pretty impressive.”
The commitment to defense during the game helped slow the damage of a potentially dangerous third quarter.
The Wildcats scored five points in the third with Moser spending most of the frame on the bench, picking up her fourth foul in the opening minute of the second half.
The Eagles could not capitalize, though, reducing the deficit by just three points going into the fourth quarter.
“Offense is important, but it’s all about defense,” Moser said. “You can’t get the offense going without playing good defense.
“We didn’t score as much as we usually do – St. John is a good team – but it didn’t matter because we played sound defense.”
The Wildcats begin their quest for a repeat title Wednesday at the Yakima SunDome.
Rosalia 44, LaCrosse-Washtucna 28: Briann Maley scored 12 points and Sam Wilson added 11 as the Spartans (15-9) knocked out the Tigercats (9-15).
Needing the win to advance to today’s final game of the district tournament, Rosalia poured it on in the second half, outscoring the Tigercats 29-11 after the break.
The Spartans will play St. John-Endicott at 4:30 p.m., with the winner advancing to the state tournament as the No. 2 seed from District 9.