Survival Of The Fittest: Yoncalla Holds Of A Chiloquin Charge To Advance 34-32 In The 1A Playoffs

Yoncalla — The opening round of the 1A state playoffs got underway on Wednesday in Yoncalla, home of the Eagles and a team of five fierce girls looking for a deep run into the Elite Eight or beyond at Baker City. On the flip side, the Chiloquin Queens looked to advance after edging their way into the state playoffs after knocking out North Lake/Paisley for the final spot in their league bids.

Just like she has all season long, Nichole Noffsinger got Yoncalla rolling with a bank shot trey to open the scoring. Venessa Koon and Ceceionna Weiser generated some momentum for Chiloquin, giving the Queens a 4-3 lead early in the quarter. Noffsinger went off on an individual 5-0 run to retake the lead 8-4, with Weiser responding via her own trey to make it 8-7. The Eagles would lead 11-9 after one quarter, with Noffsinger accounting for every point for Yoncalla in the quarter. Alison Van Loon got into the party with a trey, followed up with back-to-back scores by Noffsinger to make it an 18-9 Eagles lead in the second quarter. Chiloquin would get on the board with a putback lay-in, but Noffsinger’s buzzer-beating trey to end the half made it a 21-11 Yoncalla lead at halftime.

After a lackluster ending to the half, Chiloquin got off to a quick start with Alivia Miller scoring to open the second half. Noffsinger hit a bucket and a trey, but the Queens had answers from Weiser, Elaine Gilcrist, and Weeyaya Brown to get it down to a 26-22 game in the third. Yoncalla and Chiloquin traded punches down the stretch of the quarter, giving it a 29-26 score in favor of Yoncalla headed into the fourth. Laila Weiser drilled a trey at the start of the fourth to knot the game up at 29-all, with a pair of Noffsinger free throws giving Yoncalla the lead back 31-29. Miller hit a layup to tie it again, and Van Loon hit free throws to make it a two-point Yoncalla lead once again. Laila Weiser split two free throws to cut it to 31-30, and Van Loon split hers to make it 32-30 Yoncalla. In the final seconds, Chiloquin got a steal and a last second heave for the dub, but it fell short and the Eagles hung on 32-30 to advance in the 1A state playoffs.

Who Is Next?

The Fierce Five will be headed to Echo on Saturday for the second round of the 1A playoffs, while Chiloquin wraps up the season 9-10 overall with the first-round exit.

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