Mead topped Walla Walla, Chiawana downed Lewis and Clark and Central Valley handled Richland.
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By Greg Lee
She’ll cap her stellar career with a return as Mead handled
Mead (20-5) takes on Chiawana (23-2) for the regional championship and seeding to state this afternoon at 3. Chiawana held off Lewis and Clark 59-52 in the other semifinal.
LC (15-9) meets
The Panthers zipped to a 12-2 lead. A short burst by the Blue Devils allowed them to pull within 18-13 midway in the second quarter. But another spurt by Mead – it had a handful of surges – gave the Panthers a 27-13 lead with 2:43 to go before halftime.
WW cut into the margin to go into halftime trailing 27-21.
And the Panthers appeared to be on their heels when Jazmine picked up her fourth foul at the 4:29 mark of the third quarter.
But her teammates stepped up, extended the lead to 41-25 with a minute to go in the quarter.
“We’re used to having her on the floor, but I’m real proud of the girls who came in and maintained and even helped spread it open,” Mead coach Regan Drew said. “We had some big runs and got out in transition and spread the floor. We knew our athleticism could hurt them so we tried to spread the floor and let people attack.”
The Blue Devils trimmed the lead under double digits on the first shot of the fourth quarter, but another Mead surge (11-0) put the game out of reach at 52-32 with 3:16 remaining.
Jazmine Redmon’s 17 points was matched by Taylor Ingebritsen.
“We’ve been close, but we hadn’t turned that corner yet,” Drew said of a return trip to state. “We wanted it pretty bad for our seniors.
It was a goal we set up at the beginning of the year and we knew we had a lot of work cut out for us.”
Redmon knew her team had state potential.
“We never finished the past two years,” she said. “We’re going to have fun at state. The key for us today was we ran as a team and we played defense as a team. That’s what we needed to do.”
Drew said her team’s approach was basic.
“We just tried to keep it simple,” Drew said. “We weren’t trying to make it complicated. A few times we made it more complicated than it needed to be.”
Drew said her team’s growth and goals have been a process this season.
“They wanted to play for the (Greater Spokane League) championship and we were in the mix. We wanted to play for a district title and we got it, and we wanted to play for a regional title and then a state title. They wanted to be in a position to compete for all of them and so far they’re in that position.”
Chiawana 59, Lewis and Clark 52: The Riverhawks made 7 of their first 8 shots for a 14-7 lead late in the first quarter, and that margin essentially held up.
The Tigers never recovered from their slow start – try as they might on several occasions.
“I thought the first quarter was horrible and we started to see some life in the middle of the second,” LC coach Jim Redmon said. “Then we continued that in the third and the fourth. We gave them that early seven-point lead and we fought the whole game.”
LC pulled within 31-26 early in the third quarter before Chiawana pushed the lead back to double digits. Then in the fourth, LC trimmed the lead to 56-52 with 49 seconds remaining. But the Riverhawks made 3 of 4 free throws in the final 40 seconds to hold off the Tigers.
In a foul infested game, Chiawana made 24 of 33 free throws to LC’s 16 of 28.
“I thought that they got a ton more from the foul line and some of that was our aggressive play,” Redmon said. “To their credit they hit their foul shots.”
Redmon sounded like a coach whose team had won.
“We did the things we felt we needed to do,” he said. “When you play at this level and play a good team that they are … you kind of pick your poison. I’m so proud of our kids – how they never gave up and how they battled.”
Hayley Hodgins led Chiawana with 19 points and Mary Blevins led LC with 15.
Central Valley 69,
Whitney Black and Brooke Gallaway led CV with 21 and 17 points respectively.