Maddie Dowling felt it.
First, it was an elbow to the bridge of her nose, a thump that opened a small cut and forced her to leave the game. Two small strips of tape, marked in an X, did the trick. Then she set her sights on the basket.
Dowling, a 5-foot-7 Chimacum High School senior who was playing in her final rivalry game against Port Townsend on Jan. 25, hit three 3-pointers in the fourth quarter and finished with 13 points as the Cowboys beat the Redhawks 39-27 to finish a three-game season sweep. It was the seventh straight win for 1A Olympic League champion Chimacum (11-5, 5-0), which will host Bremerton on senior night Jan. 31.
Senior guard Jada Trafton added eight points and sophomore Jadeah Nordberg had seven for the Cowboys, who were frustrated in the first half with a lot of contact on the way to the basket.
“They fought through their frustration with it and stayed with it,” Chimacum coach Trevor Huntingford said.
Port Townsend didn’t go down easily. Sophomore forward Gina Brown went 7-for-10 from the free-throw line and tallied a game-high 17 points for the Redhawks (4-11, 1-4), who played one of their better games of the season. They meticulously worked the ball up the floor against Chimacum’s full-court press and wound up with several slashing looks at the basket in transition.
“We were just playing as a team in the right mindset,” Brown said. “For me, I think we won the game. We had a big heart as a team.”
Port Townsend limited Chimacum leading scorer Mia McNair to six points — all in the fourth quarter — with a box-and-one defense.
And the Redhawks hung with the Cowboys for most of the night, trailing by three at halftime and 19-17 going to the fourth.
It was quite a difference from Chimacum’s 58-22 win on Dec. 14 and 45-24 victory on Jan. 8.
“The girls were amazing,” Port Townsend coach Cameron Botkin said. “For this game, we set quarter-by-quarter goals.
“Our girls played the best defense they could tonight.”
Brown hit a free throw with 7:06 to play to pull Port Townsend within 19-18. McNair answered with a 3-pointer, her first points of the game, and Redhawks sophomore Sorina Johnston scored in transition to make it 22-20.
“Having a positive bench that puts their own playing time behind the needs of the team is huge,” Botkin said. That’s as close as it would get.
Chimacum senior guard Grace Yaley scored on a baseline drive and Nordberg sank two free throws with 5:23 left before Dowling took over.
She dropped a 3-pointer from the right wing to make it 29-20. She hit a 3 from the left wing on the possession. Port Townsend called a timeout, but Dowling dropped in a third consecutive 3-pointer with 3:48 to play for a personal 9-0 run and a 35-20 lead.
“I’ve never really been a consistent 3-point shooter,” Dowling said. “I’m better off the pass than off the dribble.”
Chimacum rattled off 14 straight points before Port Townsend freshman Aurin Asbell sank a bonus free throw with 3:25 remaining. She added a 3 right at the buzzer to earn a cheer from the hometown crowd.
But the night belonged to Dowling and the Cowboys.
“If you keep doing the right thing, things will break for you eventually,” Huntingford said.
Chimacum 51, South Whidbey 37
McNair scored 11 fourth-quarter points and finished with a game-high 28, including 10-for-17 from the free-throw line, to lead the Cowboys past the Falcons in a nonleague game Jan. 23 at South Whidbey.
Trafton added 10 points for Chimacum, which slowly pulled away. The Cowboys led by eight at halftime and outscored South Whidbey 13-8 in the final eight minutes.
Chimacum 42, Vashon Island 33
McNair scored 16 of her game-high 24 points in the first half on Jan. 21 and Nordberg pulled down 12 rebounds for the Cowboys, who jumped to an early 12-3 lead in the nonleague game at Vashon Island.
Vashon Island’s 17-point output in the fourth quarter was more than the first three periods combined (16).
Trafton tallied six steals and four assists, and McNair had five steals. Yaley had five rebounds and went 4-for-4 from the free-throw line.
Port Townsend 32, Klahowya 24
Brown and Johnston each scored 11 points as the Redhawks won their first league game of the season Jan. 15 in Silverdale.
Johnston hit two 3-pointers in the second quarter for Port Townsend, which led 17-9 at halftime. Junior post Izzy Hammett added seven points.