Click the tab below to read my unedited 3A girls state tournament story.
Playing without leading scorer Aleisha Hathaway, who had to sit out a game after being ejected late in the regional championship game, the Highlanders found a way to pull out a 47-46 decision over the Capital Cougars in a State 3A tournament opener at the Tacoma Dome.
“We let it inspire us,”
Shadle (17-8) meets Seattle Prep (17-9) in the quarterfinals this afternoon at 5.
The East Valley Knights gave the No. 1-ranked and defending state champ Kennedy Lancers all they could handle before falling 61-55.
Shadle Park 47, Capital 46: The Highlanders took their first lead at 37-36 when junior guard Chelsea Chandler made a driving basket with 6:25 remaining in the fourth quarter.
From there it was back and forth until
A basket by freshman post Kaycee Hert maintained the same margin, 47-42, for Shadle with 1:36 remaining.
That’s where things got a little dicey. Two free throws followed by a tough shot under the basket by Kelsey Antles pulled the Cougars within 47-46 with 25 seconds to go.
Humphrey missed the front end of an one-and-one with :13
remaining, and the Highlanders survived a 3-point attempt before
In the regional final, Hathaway and
Shadle coach Chad Dezellem said an appeal to the WIAA was made, but he learned after school Monday that it was denied. He’s actually not sure if an appeal was even considered since it’s not understood if such incidents are appealable.
“I don’t know if there’s a route (for an appeal),” he said. “The WIAA needs to look at it. When mistakes are made there should be some sort of process for looking at it. We use replay all the time in college. If you have it (video) and it’s dead obvious, why can’t they use it? That’s for my administrators to deal with. Again, it’s just common sense.”
Hathaway, a sophomore who averages 14.4 points, had to sit in the bleachers. There were many nail biting moments.
“I had knots in my stomach throughout the entire game,” she said. “I was so nervous for them. I’m just proud of them and I love them so much. They got what needed to be done done.”
Humphrey was surprised she had such an impact on the game Wednesday.
“I really haven’t scored recently,” she said. “I just do what the team needs.”
Shadle got off to a slow start, trailing by as many as nine points in the first half.
“We played tight,” the coach said. “Just trying to find something to hang our hat on offensively was a struggle.”
Shadle fought back with defense. After allowing Capital’s Tosha Hollingsworth 14 points in the first half, the Highlanders held her to two the final two quarters. She averages a team-leading 22.
Dezellem praised junior guard Kendra Knutsen, who guarded Hollingsworth in the second half.
“We put one of our best defenders on her, if not our best defender on her,” Dezellem said.
Kennedy 61, East Valley 55: The Knights didn’t back down.
Sure they had some early jitters, falling behind 24-13 in the second quarter. But EV fought back.
A basket by transition basket by Kimmie Thatcher, who took a pass from 25 feet away from senior point guard Jenni White, put the Knights ahead 47-45 with 6:06 to play.
They would lead one more time at 49-47 before the Lancers took the lead for good at 50-49.
“I don’t think anybody in the (bleachers) thought it was possible except for me, my players and their parents,” EV coach Rob Collins said.
EV didn’t have an answer for Kennedy guard Yaz Fuller, who had a game-high 33 points and nine rebounds.
White led EV with 17 points, nine rebounds, five steals and four assists. Thatcher had 14 points and six rebounds and Alicia Christiansen had 12 points.
“We’re playing with confidence and we’re playing hard,” Collins said.
Kennedy coach Tom Mummert was impressed with EV.
“They wanted it more than we did. They came out ready to play,” he said. “I think we took their record for granted. It was a real eye opener.”
White admitted that the Knights were mildly shocked by the tight game.
“In the first quarter the nerves kicked in, but we settled down in the second half,” White said. “We’ll bounce back. We’ll definitely win out from here.”