For different reasons, it was an emotional Saturday night for Lakeside High School.
The Eagles boys lost a 51-50 heartbreaker to La Salle in the 1A Regional at Cheney High School, but the girls followed with a dominating 63-44 win over Naches Valley to earn a spot in the state quarterfinals.
“They earned this,” Lakeside girls coach Jeff Pietz said after the game, which saw the Eagles seize a 22-8 lead and gradually pull away. By halftime it was 35-17, and after three quarters the issue was beyond doubt at 52-32.
The Eagles’ biggest lead was 52-27 late in the third quarter.
After losing last year in the regionals to Okanogan, the Eagles came back even stronger this year. “We have a great group of seniors, and the younger players bought into it,” Pietz said.
As they have all season, the third-ranked Eagles (22-1) won with balanced scoring. Jocelyn Cook-Cox had 12 points and 10 rebounds, Stefanie Marikis had 11 points and nine boards, and Kelsey Jones had 10 points and three assists.
“With us, it’s tough to key on just one or two players,” said Pietz.
Naches Valley, which finished 15-10, got a game-high 17 points from Kaley Roberts, but no other Ranger scored more than seven.
The Eagles also forced 16 turnovers while committing only eight.
La Salle 51, Lakeside 50: With a chance to force overtime, senior forward Ryan Quigley missed the second of two free throws with 0.4 seconds left, leaving the Eagles one point short after a fourth-quarter comeback.
After an emotional postgame meeting, Lakeside coach John Edwards said, “We played without fear, and these kids love each other.”
Fifth-ranked Lakeside (19-4) trailed most of the way, but never by more than five in the second half. The Eagles took a brief lead when Quigley’s pass found Dominique Watson for a layin that made it 49-47 with 1:31 to play,
But La Salle (21-3) tied the game on Conner Andringa’s two free throws with 1:07 left, and Austin Gasseling gave the Lightning the lead for good, 51-49, on a fastbreak layin at the 44-second mark.
Finally, the Eagles called timeout with 18 seconds left, and worked the ball in to Quigley, who was fouled while shooting by Andringa. Quigley made the first free throw, and LaSalle called timeout, setting up the deciding missed foul shot.
Spencer Reynolds led the Eagles with 16 points and five rebounds. Watson had 15 points.
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