TACOMA – Holy cow, the North Central girls basketball team ran into the real deal in Holy Names Academy.
The undefeated and top-ranked Cougars caught fire in the second quarter and couldn’t be reeled in as they throttled North Central 57-28 in the State 3A tournament semifinals Friday at the Tacoma Dome.
NC (18-9) takes on Kamiakin (19-7) for third and fifth places this morning at 11:15. NC defeated Kamiakin 45-32 in a state opener last Friday.
Holy Names (28-0) goes against perennial state power Prairie (27-0) in the state final.
NC had a 10-7 lead at the end of the first quarter but then couldn’t overcome cold shooting. NC made just 11 of 57 shots from the field (19.3 percent).
NC’s top two scorers, Tara Van Weerdhuizen and Riley Holsinger, were caught up in the infectious poor shooting. Van Weerdhuizen scored a team-high 15 points, but needed 26 shots to make seven. She also had 15 rebounds.
Holsinger made just 2 of 15 attempts and 2 of 10 from the free-throw line for six points.
NC was still within eyesight of Holy Names at halftime, trailing 23-14. But the Cougars outscored the Indians 34-14 in the second half.
Another statistical category that stymied the Indians was rebounding. Holy Names outrebounded NC 56-39.
Claire Conricode led Holy Names with 19 points. Erika Johnson had 15 points and a game-high 17 rebounds.
Just four other Indians combined to score seven points as the offense was limited.
“It makes it tough to play good defense when you can’t score,” North Central coach Gabe Medrano said. “They just caught fire after the first quarter. They hit 10 3s. They know they’re a good team and they’re No. 1 in the state for a reason.”
Medrano believes his girls will bounce back.
“We’ve got a chance to bring home a third-place trophy and they’re excited about that,” he said.
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