TACOMA – The Lewis and Clark girls basketball team took a comfortable 49-37 lead into the fourth quarter Friday morning against Kentlake.
Then things got really uncomfortable.
The Falcons started the quarter on a 9-0 run in the first five minutes, shortening the lead to three points. Tigers senior forward Taylor Cunningham then made a layin off a nice pass from senior point guard Riley Lupfer.
Those would be the only points Lewis and Clark scored in the quarter.
Two turnovers in the final 1:20 left the door open for Kentlake. Falcons guard Sydney Peterson made a layin with 18.7 seconds left to narrow the score to 51-49.
A missed first free throw on a 1-and-1 gave the Falcons one last shot to tie or win, but their last-second heave came up short, giving the Tigers a stressful victory in the State 4A consolation bracket at the Tacoma Dome.
A day before, the Tigers squandered a five-point lead to Snohomish in the final minute and losing 54-50 in overtime.
“I think it was a game of spurts. We built a nice lead and then we missed shots at the end,” LC coach George Pfeifer said. “If we had to do it again, we’d take the same shots. They just didn’t go in the hole. We found a way to win, though. We’ve been in two really tight games in the state tournament, and we found a way to win this one.”
Lupfer and Cunningham led all scorers with 14 points apiece. Lupfer added a game-high eight assists and four steals for LC (19-7).
“I had a great three quarters,” Lupfer said. In the fourth, though, “I couldn’t get my shots. I tried to get to the free-throw line and it didn’t work. I missed easy bunny layups.”
Kentlake (21-7) was led by sophomore forward Aniston Denckla, who had 11 points and four rebounds.
The Tigers will play Moses Lake (24-1) for fourth place at 8 a.m. Saturday. The Falcons were eliminated from the tournament.
Mt. Spokane 58, Prairie 50: The Wildcats (15-11) rallied from a 14-point deficit to stave off elimination in the consolation bracket. Freshman Aspyn Adams hit four 3-pointers in the fourth quarter to lead Mt. Spokane’s comeback. The Wildcats will play Edmonds-Woodway (17-11) in the game for fourth and sixth places at 9:30 a.m. Saturday. Jordan Smith led Mt. Spokane with 18 points. Adams had 14 and Jaidyn Lyman added 13. Megan Nilsson had 10 rebounds.
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