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By David Pan 

Wildcats book return trip to state | Girls basketball


Last updated 2/16/2018 at Noon

Archbishop Murphy is headed back to the state girls basketball regional tournament.

The Wildcats defeated Lynden 53-40 in a 2A District semifinal game Monday, Feb. 12, at Mount Vernon High School.

Junior Emily Rodabaugh scored 13 points and senior Natalie Hayward added 12 points.

Archbishop Murphy takes on Burlington-Edison in the district title contest at 7:30 p.m., Friday, Feb. 16, at Mount Vernon High School. Both teams advance to state regionals. The Wildcats defeated the Tigers in last year’s district finals.

“I’m excited,” Rodabaugh said of Archbishop Murphy’s state title prospects. “We have a strong unit. We returned everyone from last year. We have the chemistry. We have all the pieces we need. … We know that we have something special going on.”

The Wildcats opened district play with a resounding 71-26 rout over Sedro-Woolley Friday, Feb. 9, at Archbishop Murphy High School.

The lopsided score obscured some major challenges for the Wildcats, who were forced to go to their bench due to injuries, illnesses and foul troubles. The reserves answered the call.

“We’ve been kind of plagued by injuries and sicknesses throughout the season,” Rodabaugh said. “So for our bench to be able to step up like that was really big. We know going forward in a clutch situation we have other people we can rely on.”

Rodabaugh led all scorers with 23 points and senior Megan Dorney added 17 points. Hayward finished with 14 points.

Dorney scored 7 points in the first quarter and Rodabaugh followed up with 11 points, including three 3-pointers, in the second quarter.

“The nice thing about this team is we have a lot of people who can score,” Archbishop Murphy coach Cassie Snyder said. “Dorney did a great job. She’s starting to look for more shots, which she needs to. … Emily was in a flow and shot really well tonight. She was due for a big shooting game.”

Rodabaugh noted that the Wildcats (21-1) were able to work on different defensive sets and offensive plays against the Cubs.

“We came out fast and we were able to slow it down,” she said.

The officials were calling a tight game so Archbishop Murphy backed off after the first quarter.

“We worked on controlling what we could control rather than letting things that we had no control over impact us,” Rodabaugh said.

The plan going into the district opener was to look inside and the Wildcats responded.

“I think our posts did a great job of finishing,” Snyder said. “That was part of our game plan – to pound it inside. We had the mismatches.”


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