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Napavine fades late in semifinal loss to Colfax

Mar. 2—Box Score

At Spokane Arena

BULLDOGS 78, TIGERS 53

Colfax20 15 17 26 — 78

Napavine14 10 21 8 — 53

Colfax (78) — J. Kelly 24, Lustig 22, Jenkin 14, Wigen 10, Wick 3, L. Kelly 2, Thompson 2, Heilsberg 1

Napavine (53) — Denault 21, Grose 20, Br. Landram 6, Prather 4, Kelly 2

SPOKANE — The stage was set for a Napavine comeback.

After trailing by as much as 14 in the third quarter of a 2B semifinal against Colfax, a James Grose layup to open the fourth got the Tigers within five.

The Tigers never got closer than that, however, as the Bulldogs ended the game on a 26-6 run to pull away for a 78-53 win. The loss snapped Napavine's 24-game winning streak and was its first of the season.

"(It) was a tough locker room," Napavine coach Rex Stanley said. "When you have one goal all year, and you fall a little bit short, it's tough to handle."

Colfax guards Jayce Kelly and Seth Lustig went to work early to help the Bulldogs build an early lead, wreaking havoc by consistently driving inside.

The pair combined for 22 of Colfax's 35 points in the first half.

"We were having a really hard time keeping them out of the paint," Stanley said. "As the game went on, we adjusted to that better and were able to cut off those drives and not let the ball get so deep. That was what was really hurting us."

The Tigers were able to stay within striking distance in the first half, but they weren't as consistent against Colfax's 2-3 zone.

Karsen Denault had success in the second, scoring eight, but a Grose lay-in accounted for the only other two points of the quarter.

"We got a little stagnant offensively," Stanley said. "The game kind of stretched out a little bit, and then we played the whole second half trying to get that back. When you're playing teams this good, it's a hard hill to climb."

The Tigers were able to get going in the third, as they scored 21 points and cut the deficit to seven. After Grose's layup early in the fourth, it was 52-47 with 7:17 to play.

It fell apart quickly, as an 11-1 Colfax run pushed the lead back to 14.

The dagger came right after a Napavine timeout. Kelly hit a three and was fouled after he landed, which gave the ball back to the Bulldogs, who quickly hit another layup to make it a 17-point game with 4:07 to play.

Over the final 7:17, the Tigers were outscored 26-6.

"They're just really good," Stanley said. "They are a good team ... We cut it to five and gave ourselves a chance. That's all you could really ask for."

Denault and Grose combined for 41 of Napavine's 53 points, and Denault led the team with 13 rebounds. As a team, the Tigers shot nearly 60 percent inside the arc (22 for 37), but shot just 13.3 percent from beyond it (2 for 15).

Kelly and Lustig finished with a combined 46 points while shooting 15 for 30 from the floor.

The Tigers will take the floor one more time on Saturday, as they'll go up against Lake Roosevelt in the 3rd/5th game.

"These guys had an outstanding year," Stanley said. "We got one more chance tomorrow to come out, finish this thing on a win, and send these seniors out the right way."