TACOMA – Lewis and Clark’s fifth-place State 4A girls basketball trophy finish may have been a product of the resolve of three seniors, as coach Jim Redmon repeated daily this week in the Tacoma Dome.
But give junior Daisy Burke props for her magic that helped the Tigers escape Bellarmine Prep 60-55 in Saturday morning’s first trophy game.
Burke scored six points in the game’s final 1 minute, 26 seconds to bail out a team that had led by 17 with 6 minutes left.
But it wasn’t just a moment in time during the game. Burke finished with 20 points, her season high in the season-ending victory.
“Unbelievable,” Redmon said. “The last three games at state she didn’t play very well. Today it was not just one, but two big shots. She played with phenomenal confidence.”
Burke said it was all for seniors Jeneva Anderson, Emily Travis and Sarah Kliewer, who combined for 29 points and 22 rebounds.
“It was their last game and I wanted to do it for them,” she said. “They were clutch shots, but I made them. It was a good time to make big shots and get back in the game.”
Burke said she hadn’t been playing consistently, but in this one she hit half of her field-goal attempts and all four free throws.
The biggest came when a 52-35 lead melted to 53-50 with 3:23 left to play. Burke first ended a 10-point Bellarmine Prep run. A 3-pointer by Lions guard Grace Beardemple made it 55-53 with 1:08 left, but Burke countered. Then, with the score 57-55, she made two pressure free throws with 11 seconds left.
“I feel like when I need it, I can score,” Burke said.
The teams traded leads in the first quarter, but the Tigers (28-3) led 11-9 at the end. Burke made three baskets and Travis scored seven points in the second quarter for a 30-17 advantage. Bellarmine scored the final six points before intermission.
LC ran off eight points in a row, half by Burke, to build a 16-point lead in the second half.
The Lions rallied behind Mechella Barnes, who scored 10 points in the final period, including two 3-pointers. Sarah Hartwell added three scores, but Burke stood firmly for the seniors.
Anderson, who ended her prep career with 12 points and 10 rebounds, said she choked up before the game knowing it was the last time she would listen to Redmon giving his pregame message.
Travis, who finished with 13 points, said she felt lucky to be part of varsity teams that went 83-6 during her three seasons.
“We knew we would pull it out,” Travis said of the harrowing finish. “At first, when we lost (Wednesday’s opener), we were disappointed. But we had a great season. We were undefeated in league and beat the two teams that beat us.”
The Tigers also bring home another state trophy.
“The seniors have had their ups and downs,” Redmon said. “I pretty much decided they were going to take us home.”
Federal Way 55, Moses Lake 48: Jacqie Evenson hit a 3-pointer with 1:18 remaining in the game for third and sixth places to doom the Chiefs.
The shot pushed the Eagles to a 51-46 advantage, and Moses Lake had few options without Carly Noyes.
Noyes went down with an ankle injury a little more than a minute into the third quarter, taking away a 6-foot-5 inside presence.
The Chiefs trailed 12-7 after one quarter but went on an 11-3 run to lead at half. Jordan Loera made two 3-pointers in the third quarter, one near the Moses Lake bench as time expired, for a 38-33 advantage.
The game was tied at 46 with 2:28 remaining when TyShana Burgess rebounded Evenson’s two missed free throws and scored. Evenson answered in a big way a minute later.
Loera scored 21 points and Chayla Hirz added 12.