The Wildcats were down 15-7 at the end of the first quarter and watched Creekview expand its lead to 29-15 by the break, a 14-point margin. But in the third quarter Woodland got all but five of those points back, trailing 37-32 after three quarters of play.
Woodland scored 24 points in the final period but the victors tallied 25, claiming the 62-56 win.
“I thought we played real well in the second half, but in the first half we were a step slow,” head coach Mike Tobin said. “We had turnovers that led to some easy points for them. It was almost like there were two teams out there playing tonight.”
The Wildcats outscored Creekview in the second half, 39-30.
Creekview took an early lead in its contest, making two 3-pointers against a bucket by Cameron Mayweather, for a 6-2 lead at the three-minute mark.
The Grizzlies added two free throws while the Wildcats countered with a bucket and free throw by Chandler Royal, then a bucket by Greg Murphy that closed the contest to 8-7. Creekview ran off 7 unanswered points to end the first quarter ahead 15-7.
Woodland responded with a small run in the second quarter, with a bucket and free throw by Xavier Niblett, and a free throw from Daryel Morris, to pull within 16-11. Creekview retaliated with a 13-4 run to go ahead 29-15 at the break.
The Wildcats stepped up their offensive intensity in the third period, but at first didn’t seem to get any traction as they turned the ball over three times while falling behind four more points.
Then Royal chipped in a bucket to pry the second-half lid off the goal and was followed in rapid succession with buckets by Isaiah Niblett and Murphy (two buckets and a free throw) and Morris, for an 11-0 run that pulled the two teams to 33-26. Woodland used a 6-4 run to close the period down just five points.
Woodland stayed close until about three minutes remained in the game and tried unsuccessfully to close the margin by putting the Grizzlies at the free-throw line.
Tobin said the Wildcats came out of the break determined to play better ball and they did.
“We played with a lot of pride the second half,” he said.
The loss puts a wrap on the season for Woodland and was a farewell for some of the Wildcats.
“We had some good seniors on our team who worked hard for us,” Tobin added.
Morris led Woodland with 13 points. Mayweather threw in 11 points, Murphy, 9; Xavier Niblett, 8; Royal and Corey Tobin, 5 each; Isaiah Niblett, 2; and Adam Tobin, 1.
The loss dropped 7-AAAA Woodland’s record to 16-9 on the season and the win improved Creekview’s record to 16-10, and it let them avenge a 73-64 loss to the Wildcats on Feb. 7.