Archbishop Murphy wins state regional opener | Girls basketball

By David Pan | Mar 02, 2018

It took a quarter for Archbishop Murphy to find its groove against Port Angeles.

Once they started making their shots and shutting down their opponent, the Wildcats pulled away from the Roughriders for a 50-36 victory in a 2A state regional girls basketball playoff game Saturday, Feb. 24, at Mount Tahoma High School.

The victory means that Archbishop Murphy avoids a loser-out game and instead faces North Kitsap on Thursday, March 1, at the Yakima Valley SunDome, after the Beacon’s deadline.

Despite some shooting woes, the Wildcats trailed Port Angeles only 14-12 after the first quarter.

“The second quarter our defense was a lot better,” Archbishop Murphy coach Cassie Snyder said. “We started making some shots. In the first quarter we were kind of cold. We started getting into a rhythm.”

The Wildcats (22-2) took a 25-17 lead into halftime and extended their advantage to 37-25 at the end of the third quarter.

Junior Emily Rodabaugh scored a game-high 19 points.

“She’s been playing really well. She’s playing like the MVP of the league,” Snyder said.

Teammates Maddie Hill added 9 points and Natalie Hayward finished with 8 points.

Archbishop Murphy limited Port Angeles to a combined 11 points in the second and third quarters.

“I was happy with it,” Snyder said of the Wildcats’ defense. “We had a couple of breakdowns that led to 3s. … Defensively, when we play well, we usually give ourselves a chance. It fuels our offense.”

The one area that Snyder said needed improvement was turnovers. The Wildcats turned the ball over 23 times.

“We did not take care of the basketball,” the Archbishop Murphy coach said. “If we have less possessions, we have less chance to score.”

Turnovers turned out to be the downfall for the Wildcats in their 76-54 loss to Burlington-Edison in the Bi-District championship game Friday, Feb. 16, at Mount Vernon High School.

The Tigers jumped out to a 24-8 lead in the first quarter and Archbishop Murphy was never able to recover.

“I felt like we came out flat. They came out strong,” Snyder said. “We never kind of got our momentum.”

The Wildcats didn’t play good defense, she added.

Burlington-Edison shot 53 percent from 3-point land and were 60 percent from the field in the first half.

“By the second half, we were trading baskets,” Snyder said. “We can’t do that.”

Archbishop Murphy appeared to shake off the loss with its decisive win over Port Angeles.

“We’re feeling good about a lot of things,” Snyder said. “Obviously, there are things we need to tweak … We need to make sure we take better care of the basketball and be better in our half court offense.”

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