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CHEHALIS, Wash. — When it came down to it, Washington State pledge Kyra Garner was on Saturday what she’s been to opposing defenses for the past three seasons.

Too much. Just too much. 

Gardner, three-time Pacific 2B MVP, scored 38 points as the Seagulls built and early lead and held off Chief Leschi 68-60 to win its first 2B District IV title since 1991 on Saturday at W.F. West High School. 

“We worked hard throughout the season to get this done,” Gardner said while holding a piece of the net in her hand. “It’s very exciting.”

Both teams advance to the WIAA state regional round next week and will know more Sunday when the state seeding committees announce the fields. 

A return trip to the state 2B tournament in Spokane would be Raymond’s first in six years. Chief Leschi booked its program’s first-ever trip to the state regional round when it beat Wahkiakum on a buzzer-beater in the district semifinals Tuesday.

Gardner hit 2 of 5 3-point attempts and went 7-of-8 at the line to stave off a late Chief Leschi push. Karsyn Freeman poured in 24 points and kept the Warriors off balance and unable to throw the kitchen sink Gardner’s way.

Raymond coach Jason Koski has given his star, the program’s all-time leading scorer, the leeway to call her shots when she’s on. And on Saturday at W.F. West High School, those moments came often. 

“It’s a double-edged sword,” Koski said. “We always preach the team thing but, doggoned, she’s really, really good and you’ve got to let her do her thing, let her have her freedom.”

Chief Leschi cut a 17-point deficit after three quarters to single digits in the game’s final minutes. Senior point guard Ramona Gallegos and junior guard Taia Mitchell had 21 of the Seagulls’ 27 fourth quarter points.

Gardner made her imprint on the game from the opening tip, hitting two first quarter 3s, a steal and coast-to-coast finish and two second quarter blocks.

“She wants to beat you,” Koski said. “It helps our other kids as far as competing because they know Kyra expects that. When your best player is the one that works the hardest, you’re going to be fine.”

More district girls basketball coverage

No. 2 Tumwater rides hot start to confidence-boosting 2A district championship win over No. 3 Hudson’s Bay (recap, photos)

Girls basketball notebook: Looked-past Chief Leschi makes history by clinching Class 2B state berth

SBLive’s Washington high school girls basketball rankings for week of Feb. 14

Top-ranked Woodinville girls roll over No. 5 Lake Stevens in District 1/2 championship game: ‘Those kids all love each other’

Watch: Regan Brewer breaks down No. 2 Tumwater’s 2A district title win over No. 3 Hudson’s Bay

No. 2 Tumwater rides hot start to confidence-boosting 2A district championship win over No. 3 Hudson’s Bay (recap, photos)