When the State 4A girls basketball tournament trophy game against Greater Spokane League rival University came down to free throws, it was fitting that Lewis and Clark’s shooter was departing senior Briann January.
One of two seniors for the Tigers – Bryce Bohlen – is the other, January made both with 5.6 seconds remaining, giving the team a 47-45 win and 26-3 record, best in school history, and the third-place plaque.
“It’s a sad day that Bri’s gone, but I know she’s got bigger and better days ahead of her,” coach Jim Redmon said of his four-year star’s final prep game. “I’m just glad she was the one at the foul line at the end.”
January didn’t have one of her better shooting tournaments, making just 10 of 44 attempts from the field, though she was tough at the line at 21 for 30.
As such, she refused to take credit for the Tigers second-highest state finish ever.
“I played real bad for me,” she said. “Up until then it wasn’t me, it was my team. They were stepping up because I didn’t do it.”
Indeed, it was the involvement of the supporting cast around LC’s two starters, January and junior Heather Bowman, that helped secure third place.
Starting guard Ren Mallory was steady on the floor throughout. Ula Tauala and Lyndi Seidensticker in the trophy game, Hanna Rothstrom, in the semifinal loss to Garfield, Brittany Kennedy and Bohlen in the taut 40-37 second-round game against Prairie and Jade Peone against Central Kitsap – all delivered at key moments.
Tauala had a tooth knocked out against Prairie, but a doctor on staff at the tournament knew a dentist who opened his office at 10 p.m. Thursday night and repaired the damage. She scored eight points against Garfield the next night, a game in which Rothstrom scored nine points and had four rebounds and shared team honors with a dozen against U-Hi.
Seidensticker hit a decisive 3-point basket to tie the game with the Titans prior to January’s winning free throws. Peone made three 3-point baskets against Central Kitsap.
And then there was Bowman, who through three games was the tournament’s second-leading scorer at 20.3 per game and third leading rebounder at 9.3. Had the Tigers made the title game, the all-tournament selection would have been an MVP candidate.
LC lost in the semifinals to eventual champion Garfield 72-63, with 21 turnovers costing them, particularly in the second quarter.
But the Tigers bounced back against U-Hi, rallying from a nine-point halftime deficit to even their season series at two wins apiece.
“We went to a small lineup, got some momentum going and got back into the game,” said Redmon.
January and Bowman were among three GSL players this year to surpass 1,000 points for their careers, with January finishing fifth all-time with 1,135. Bowman stands 10th with a year to go.
The Tigers return nine others, including juniors Mallory, Rothstrom, Peone and Morgan Parker, who missed the last two games of regular season and all of the playoffs with an injury.
Also back next year are sophomores Tauala, Seidensticker and Cambry Marks, freshmen Kennedy and Laree Weaver, who came up for the playoffs.
“As far as I’m concerned,” said Redmon of the big finish, “it belongs to the kids. They worked their butts off all year and worked hard all year. They’re just a pleasure to coach.”
Local journalism is essential.
Give directly to The Spokesman-Review's Northwest Passages community forums series -- which helps to offset the costs of several reporter and editor positions at the newspaper -- by using the easy options below. Gifts processed in this system are not tax deductible, but are predominately used to help meet the local financial requirements needed to receive national matching-grant funds.
Subscribe now to get breaking news alerts in your email inbox
Get breaking news delivered to your inbox as it happens.