La Center ran into the wrong team at the wrong time Thursday.
In a matchup with undefeated and No.1-seeded Cashmere, the Wildcats dropped a 60-28 decision to the Bulldogs at the Class 1A girls state basketball tournament at Yakima SunDome.
La Center, now 23-2 on the season, will meet Bellevue Christian Friday in the consolation bracket of the tournament. A win would guarantee the Wildcats a top-eight finish in the tournament and another game on Saturday. A loss would end La Center’s season.
Cashmere (24-0) took control of Thursday’s game in the first quarter when the Bulldogs outscored La Center 22-0. The Wildcats still trailed 34-8 at halftime before outscoring Cashmere 11-9 in the third quarter. Cashmere pulled away in the fourth quarter, during which the Bulldogs edged La Center 17-9 in the final eight minutes of the game.
La Center made just 10 of its 37 shots from the field (27.0 percent), including 1-for-19 in the first half (5.3 percent). The Wildcats bounced back to make nine of their 18 shots from the field (50.0 percent) in the final two quarters.
Sophomore Taylor Stephens led La Center with nine points in the game. Junior Molly Edwards added seven points and six rebounds for the Wildcats and juniors Bethany Whitten and Taylor Mills each had six points.