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Shadle girls coast

Sorry it took so long to get this story to you. The girls court was running 70 minutes late by the time Shadle Park tipped off. Fortunately at halftime the game was decided but before the end I had to move to the boys court for the Rogers game. Then, of course, I had two stories to write, but, better late than never, click below for my unedited Shadle park girls story.

Most layup drills take a few minutes of warmup time before the beginning of each half.

Shadle Park’s layup drill last for 32 minutes of real time.

The Highlanders, without benefit of a free throw and just three 3-pointers, rolled to a 59-32 win over Columbia River in the first round of the State 3A girls basketball tournament Wednesday night at the Tacoma Dome by wracking up 17 assists on 28 baskets.

“Love and passion,” Highlander senior Bianca Pope said after game-highs of 18 points and 10 rebounds. “We want to play as a team and shut them down.”

Mission accomplished.

“They looked pretty good,” Shadle Park coach Chad Dezellem said. “It was our energy, our enthusiasm, just flying around and how they saw each other on the floor was just amazing.”

Shadle Park (20-6) moves into today’s 7 p.m. quarterfinal (8:10 if the games are as far behind as opening day) against perennial state power Prairie (21-4), which pulled away from Mercer Island 62-45.

“They’re big, they athletic and they get out in the passing lanes,” Dezellem said. “They won that game with defense.”

The Highlanders stuffed Ferndale (16-9) early, reeling off the first 10 points, pushing the lead to 13 in the first quarter and getting it up to 25 with more than 3 minutes left in the second.

Before they scored, the Golden Eagles had three misses and eight turnovers. By the quarter they were 2-8 with 11 turnovers for the half it was 6-20 with 17 turnovers (for 18 Shadle points) and a 38-17 deficit.

“We just run around and be wild (on defense),” sophomore Kendra Knutsen said, “like always.”

If there was any weakness for the Highlanders, it was the lack of 3-pointers. Shadle Park was 0-4 in the first half, which mattered little in their layup drill of an offense. In the first half the Highlanders shot 63.3 percent with all the points coming from no more than 15 feet of the basket.

Pope had 12 points and six rebounds, Knutsen had 10 points and four assists in the first half. Knutsent finished with 12 and five with limited playing time in the second half.

Ashley Honeycutt, a 6-foot senior who averages more than 20 points for Ferndale, finished with 14 points on 6 of 14 shooting.

“We pressured the pass so they couldn’t get a good pass inside and fronted her,” Dezellem said. “Our defensive rotations have been outstanding.”

Pope said, “It was knowing when I fronted her I’d have a teammate behind me to back me up.”

The Highlanders finished the game with 57 percent shooting after "cooling off" to 47.7 percent in the second half. However, Ferndale was just 15 percent in the second half, 21.7 for the game to go with their 27 turnovers.

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