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Prep Highlights: La Center volleyball team wins first District 1A title since 2016

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The La Center volleyball team was tested in a five-set Trico League battle against Castle Rock on Saturday and still earned its first district championship since 2016.

La Center and Castle Rock split the first four sets, all decided by three points or less, before the Wildcats won the fifth set 15-12 to claim the District 4 title at King’s Way Christian High School.

Ella Schon had 24 kills, two blocks, seven digs and eight service points. Billy Ross added 15 kills, one block, nine digs, four aces and 11 service points. Grace Clinton had a team-high 32 assists plus four digs, one ace and nine service points. Mia Ahtziger led the way with 16 points plus five assists.

“It was a tough night for us,” La Centro coach Simoni O’Brien said. “We had nerves today, but that was exactly what we needed heading into state — nerves and adversity. I’m proud of them for showing heart and working through it. The last five points the girls showed poise and confidence and played to win.”

FOOTBALL PLAYOFFS

KELSO 45, GIG HARBOR 34 — With a 34-10 second-quarter rout of Gig Harbor, the Kells football team was on the verge of ending its season in the preliminary round of the Class 3A state round.

Thirty-five unanswered points later, the Hilanders came back to beat Gig Harbor at Schroeder Field and earn a spot in the 3A state playoffs.

Tucker Amrin threw two touchdown passes in the second half, Judah Calixte scored two touchdowns and the Kelso defense held Gig Harbor scoreless over the final 24 minutes.

Facing a 24-point deficit after Gig Harbor’s Benjamin Stevens caught a 40-yard touchdown pass from Will Landrum, the Hilanders scored with 28 seconds left in the half on a Zeke Smith touchdown run by Amrin.

Kelso cut the gap to 34-31 with two more touchdowns in the third quarter, and after Conner Noah picked off a Landrum pass in the fourth, the Hilanders took the lead on Calixte’s 25-yard touchdown run from Amrin with 7:31 left.

TUMWATER 35, RIDGEFIELD 14 — The Spudders’ season came to an end in Week 10 after they dug themselves a 21-0 hole on the road.

Ridgefield had three turnovers in the first quarter, allowing Tumwater to score three rushing touchdowns, including two on the ground by Carlos Matheny. The Thunderbirds also stopped the Spudders from reaching the end zone on 4th and goal from the 1-yard line to end the second quarter.

Ridgefield’s Isaiah Cawley caught two touchdown passes from Logan Debamont in the second half.

GIRLS’ FOOTBALL

Hawkinson wins PK for 2A state berth

Hawkinson goalie Ashley Suva made the game-winning block on a penalty kick as the Hawks edged Washougal for a 2A state berth.

The teams played the lost match to a 1-1 draw before Hawkinson won 4-3 on penalties.

Bridget Brennan scored in the first half for the Hawks on an assist from Olivia Cochenour.

Anna Chaffee scored on a penalty kick in the second half to tie the score for Washougal.

Kelso is one win short of 3A state

Kelso went four games without a loss in the 3A bi-district playoffs, winning three. However, Auburn Mountainview ended the streak on Saturday with a 1-0 victory.

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