Woodland’s girls’ basketball team prefers to be the aggressor. Against defending league champion Washougal and shot stuffer Beyonce Bea that’s no easy task.
The Beavers stuck to the gameplan, though, and Payten Foster erupted for 19 first-half points, got to the line 15 times and finished with 27 points and six steals. She forced Bea into three first-half fouls and Woodland looked poised to steal an important Greater St. Helens 2A League victory, or at least keep it close until the end.
But with Bea on the bench, Washougal went on a 21-5 run in the second quarter to open a 19-point gap and eventually cruise to a 63-51 victory on Friday in Woodland.
“They’re a good team; (Beyonce) is a stud,” coach Glen Flanagan said. “I thought missing two starters, the girls battled. … If we play like this against other teams, we probably get the win.”
Washougal (8-4, 4-0 league) entered the break up 36-27 before a 9-0 run to open the third quarter essentially sealed the outcome. Bea scored 12 of her 16 points in the second half, and three other Panthers scored in double figures.
In the halfcourt, Woodland’s defense was up to the task against a talented Panthers’ squad. They didn’t allow a first-half free throw and forced outside shots. But transition defense, and 29 turnovers, led to easy buckets for Washougal. And a long night for Woodland.
“We just have to take care of the ball. If we don’t turn it over, they don’t go the other way,” Flanagan said. “We’re still a work in progress. We’re getting there. We’re getting better.”
At the end of the day, the Beavers (6-5, 0-3) had to be pleased with their performance. They easily eclipsed their goal of shooting 20 free throws, going 16 of 28 from the line, and won the rebounding battle 33-27, including nine apiece from Gelina Wakefield and Nicole Guthrie.
Foster was stellar when she needed to be, and the team made things tough on the league favorites.
“I just knew we had to keep working to stop Beyonce,” Foster said. “She’s a good player; they’re a good team. I just knew we had to work hard, take advantage and go for it.”
But still, Woodland sits at 0-3 in league play and finds itself in a big hole to climb out of the rest of the month. The Beavers start that trek on Tuesday at Mark Morris.
“We just have to keep working hard,” Foster said. “We’re missing a couple starters, but we’re just going to keep working and hopefully get some wins.”