Sometimes, things don’t go according to plan.
Such was the case on Saturday, as the East Valley girls turned in their season-low scoring output and were knocked off by seventh-seeded Washougal and all-state post Beyonce Bea 52-45 in their 2A regional round clash at University HS.
The Knights (19-4) play a rough-and-tumble style, but the taller, longer Panthers (19-4) were more than East Valley could handle. The 6-foot-1 Bea scored 22 points, and EV never got into a groove.
“They pressured us pretty good,” EV coach Rob Collins said. “We panicked a little bit. We didn’t continue to attack like we normally do.
“We missed some free throws there down the stretch … and had too many unforced turnovers.”
The loss forces the Knights into an unenviable situation: a first-round loser-out game on Wednesday against 10th-seeded Anacortes, before a potential showdown against No. 1 seed Lynden in a quarterfinal.
But the Knights are used to battling.
They beat rival Clarkston twice in the regular season before falling to the Bantams in the District 7 title game, forcing EV to travel to Ellensburg to win a crossover game just to reach the regional round.
Genesis Wilkinson scored 18 points and Faith Adams had 17 points – both All-Great Northern League first-team selections – and Holly Flynn added 13, and EV held off a late rush to down Ellensburg and advance.
No. 3 seed Clarkston is led by league MVP sophomore Ashlyn Wallace, who averages 25 points, three assists, four steals and four rebounds, and owns a pair of 39-point games this season.
“Surviving a very tough and competitive GNL league has definitely prepared us for state,” Clarkston coach Debbie Sobotta said.
Seventh-seeded Deer Park (20-3) finds itself in a similar situation as the East Valley girls.
A stellar regular season could all be in jeopardy after the Stags stubbed their toes in a 63-46 regional-round loss to second-seeded La Center.
The Stags produced their first Northeast A title, going 10-2 in league and followed that with a 57-45 win over Newport for the District 7 championship.
The Stags get an opportunity to prove the regional loss was a fluke in a first-round loser-out against 10th-seeded King’s at 5:30 p.m. Wednesday.
The Stags are paced by senior league MVP Isaac Berglund, first-team all-league junior Jobi Gelder (23.6 ppg) and sophomore second-teamer Dawson Youngblood (9.6 ppg).
“We need to be aggressive on the offensive end with solid rebounding,” DP coach Chad Hand said. “The guys are excited and deserve this opportunity.”