TACOMA – Aleisha Hathaway’s first victory Saturday had nothing to do with the final score.
Not sprinting for a bathroom to vomit every time she came out of the game was an improvement over Friday at the girls State 3A tournament.
A day later, playing Mercer Island for third or sixth place, Hathaway looked more herself on and off the floor. The sophomore, Shadle Park’s leading scorer, led the Highlanders to a 49-36 victory over the Islanders at the Tacoma Dome.
The Highlanders finished third.
“We went and ate after (Friday’s) game, because she had nothing left in her,” Shadle coach Chad Dezellem said. “When we were walking out of Olive Garden, she had to walk out almost bent over (from all she ate).”
Whatever Hathaway did to replenish herself, it paid off in a 14-point, 12-rebound performance against the Islanders.
“Today, I knew, was going to be my game,” said Hathaway, who was forced to sit out on Wednesday after being ejected from the district title game, then got sick on Thursday. “I was going to come out and play the whole game.”
Hathaway wasn’t the only one to come out hard.
“To me, it was a character challenge,” Dezellem said of his team’s ability to respond after Friday’s semifinal loss. “Take this as you will, but we don’t play just to win. We talk about competing to be the best we can be.”
Still, it did take at least a few moments for the Highlanders to recover before getting ready for Mercer Island.
“Getting on the bus was tough,” senior guard Jenna Hathaway said. “Nobody was talking at all. But then, we realized we still could get third in the state. Before long, we were standing on the bus and dancing, then singing, ‘Third in state, third in state.’
“I’m just a little slow. I was singing, ‘Third in the apple state,’ instead of the Evergreen State.”
Shadle left the semifinal loss behind and started to look ahead to Saturday afternoon.
By halftime against the Islanders, Shadle had a 25-19 lead. A Hannah Lilly 3-pointer for Mercer Island kept it a five-point game (32-27) heading into the fourth.
But the Highlanders made 13 of 18 free throws in the final 8 minutes (26 of 34 overall) to finally pull away.
Humphrey, who added 14 points and five rebounds, was 10 of 12 from the free-throw line.
“She’s had a great tournament for us,” Dezellem said of his point guard. “I hope people recognize that. She takes care of the ball. You need people who can take care of the ball.”
In 27 minutes, Humphrey found the ball in her hands on nearly every possession. She had no turnovers.
“This was my last game, my senior year,” Humphrey said. “I was going to go out and give it my all. Obviously, I would liked to have win last night. But you can’t win them all. I just wanted to win this one today.”
Capital 59, East Valley 42: Jenni White’s effort couldn’t offset Tosha Hollingsworth and company.
White, the Knights’ senior guard, scored 11 of her team-high 16 points in the second half of the game for fifth and eighth places. But East Valley fell behind by double digits in the second quarter and never came closer than nine after halftime.
The Knights led 13-11 after the first quarter. But East Valley finished the first half having made just 7 of 36 shots (19 percent), and scored just three points in the second quarter as the Cougars built a 26-16 lead.
Hollingsworth scored a game-high 21 points. White added five rebounds and six steals to her 16 points for the Knights.