NORTH BEND, Ore.– Shawnie Spink and Kalina Rojas both were on target Wednesday night to start the 3A State Playoffs as the two seniors helped set the pace early for the Dayton squad.
Spink was aggressive from the perimeter as she set the offense as she has done all season as she scored 23 points through three quarters while Rojas led the rebounding game with nine during the same period of time as the Pirates were slowly pulled away 39-21.
That third quarter, with the score at 19-13 entering that third stanza of the game with the Red Devils challenging Dayton by forcing them to turn it over 10 times during the first half and the game pretty even with rebounding (14-10 at halftime in favor of the Lady Pirates) and the shot attempts being the same with Dayton making three more shots (8-18 versus 5-18) as the game-plan changed into finding that fast break opportunity.
“That was our plan going into the second half, when it was close, we knew we just had to come out and get a break right away and just pull away slowly. Slowly chip away and extend the lead the best that we could,” describes Rojas to start the second half.
They surely found it as Spink and Rojas scored the first two baskets of the half, Chole Cisneros picked up two steals, Rojas and Malina Ray both picked up blocks defensively to swing the momentum in their favor up then only 23-13.
Offensively, Dayton whipped the ball around like the Showtime Lakers of old. Spink scored 11 points in the third quarter, Rojas picked up three more rebounds in the frame as she finished with 11 in the game with her nine points and three assist. Ray picked up a basket, Jaden Moore drained a three that put the Pirates up 30-15 as by quarters end Dayton outscored Coquille 20-8. The Lady Pirates were certainly living up to what they wanted to do.
“It was super exciting because we definitely had a game-plan and we like to go fast-paced so for us, for our shots to fall we’re used to this gym, this is our fourth-year here so we’re ready. We were overly ready to come out and play,” said Moore who had eight points, four rebounds and four steals in the game.
Entering the fourth, the six-point 19-13 lead was now 39-21 entering the final stanza as Dayton sailed to a 48-29 victory and going to Championship Semi-Finals for the four-straight year.
For these seniors like Moore, it’s pretty cool to be here at this place and playing in the tournament one last time.
“It’s pretty cool, we’re trying to go out and we have one goal you know,” Moore said. “We’re on our way there, we got a few more games and we’re where we want to be.”
And they’re one win away from reaching the State Title game as they look to bring home their third straight title in four years with their focus on Rainier at 1:45 Friday afternoon at Marshfield High School.
“I think it starts with energy and defense, which we work on a lot early on in the season” said Rojas. “That’s what we knew what we need to have a upper hand on these teams.
“So definitely come out early on defense and then offense will always fall eventually. But it’s all about hussle.
Ray finished with four points with two assist, Cisneros finished with four steals and three rebounds and Spink finished with 25 points, eight rebounds, three assist, three steals.