It was clear from the opening tip that this postseason would be a whole lot different for Erika Glenn. She is no longer that third or fourth option teams had to be wary of; she’s the team’s leading scorer and opponents are going to gameplan specifically for the Ilwaco sophomore.
On Wednesday, in a 60-54 win over Toledo at Ted M. Natt Court, Glenn showed she’s more than ready for the toughest stretch of her budding prep career. She dropped 23 points in the Southwest 2B District quarterfinal game despite being harassed by Toledo defenders.
“I tried to get shots up, get by them, but I also had to rely on my other teammates to take care of the ball and make baskets too,” Glenn said. “From playing from last year and playing point guard, I don’t feel as much pressure anymore.”
She got to the line early and found some openings late, and on her back, the Fishermen trot into their fifth straight state regional. Ilwaco will play Willapa Valley on Friday in the district semifinals.
“I don’t really have to say anything to her; that’s just the way she plays,” Ilwaco coach Ned Bittner said. “That’s her just playing. She did a good job handling the pressure tonight.”
For Toledo, while the defensive gameplan was sound, the offense struggled to get going at times. The second quarter, in particular, netted just five points. Down by as many as 12, the Indians climbed out of the hole, and cut the lead to 36-35 at the end of the third quarter.
They would get no closer.
“We tried to contain (Glenn); we knew if we could contain her, we’d have a good chance at winning,” Toledo coach Brian Layton said. “But she’s a really good player. She’s hard to contain.”
Kal Schaplow finished with 20 points and Kyleigh Holmes tallied 11 points, despite drawing the difficult task of defending Glenn for much of the night. The Indians (15-6) face consecutive loser-out games Friday and Saturday, starting with Adna.
“We already forgot about it,” Layton said. “You let a game like this linger, you’re not going to play well the next night. We’ll be ready.”
With two minutes remaining and a six-point lead, Glenn picked up her fifth and final foul. It could have spelled trouble for the Fishermen (20-1), especially after Schaplow hit a 3-pointer to make it 56-53 with 1:36 to go.
But there’s enough playoff experience among these Fishermen to help avoid the shift in tide. Ebby McMullen righted the ship — finishing with nine points — and got the rest of the girls to keep their composure. Arianna Bell hit a big 3-pointer down the stretch on her way to 11 points, and Kylie Gray tallied nine points.
“It’s a great feeling,” Bittner said. “When we were driving home from Spokane last year, who would have thought the Ilwaco girls would be back in regionals? Just super proud of them. It’s tradition; it’s what you expect. New faces and names but same tradition.”