NAPAVINE — It worked from the outside in Monday for the Toledo girls basketball team, in a 56-48 win over Napavine.
The host Tigers came in with two main focuses on defense: cause havoc with a full-court press and limit Stacie Spahr’s open looks down low.
Two quarters in, Toledo had passed both tests, to the tune of taking a six-point lead into the break on the team it was fighting for second place with in the Central 2B League.
The visitors were barely perplexed at all by the pressure, and while they didn’t get the ball down the court fast enough to turn the game into a track meet, they took care of the ball as well as possible.
“What I’m happy about is that we didn’t let them score off of their press,” Toledo coach Brian Layton said. “We were able to handle the press for the most part.”
Once the ball got across halfcourt, the Tigers locked down hard on Spahr in the post, holding her to just four points in the first half. But that opened up spaces on the perimeter, and Toledo’s wings took advantage.
Emma Cline-Maier put up 10 points in the first half alone, and finished on 12 for the game. Marina Smith had an even better night offensively, knocking down four 3-pointers to cap off her night with 18 points, and adding six assists.
“They did a good job of helping on Stacie in that first half,” Layton said. “It was tough to get the ball into her for a clean look, but that opened it up on the outside for our shooters, and they were able to knock them down.”
Come the second half, Napavine knew it had to start accounting for Toledo’s shooters more, and Spahr took advantage. The senior ripped off 15 points in the final 16 minutes, and added 14 rebounds to her program-leading career total.
Greenlee Clark added nine rebounds, six assists, and four points.
Toledo got its lead up to 14 points after the third quarter, but some hot Napavine shooting drew the lead back to single digits in the end.
Natalya Marcial led all scorers with 21 points for the Tigers.
Toledo (7-2) was slated to wrap up its regular season at Toutle Lake on Tuesday.