YAKIMA – With 25 seconds left in the season and her team trailing by a point early Saturday afternoon, there was no doubt who was going to get the ball for East Valley.
It was going to Genesis Wilkinson, for more than one reason.
The 5-foot-11 junior banked a short jumper off the glass for the winner with 17 seconds left and the Knights (22-2) held on to beat East Valley (Yakima) 47-44 in the State 2A girls third-place game in the SunDome.
Knights coach Rob Collins wanted the ball in Wilkinson’s hands for two reasons. He knew that she was deadly in the low block, but, as important, he knew that she was unselfish enough to pass the ball back out if the Red Devils collapsed their defense around her as most expected.
“She’s always one of our main options,” Collins said. “Sometimes I have to remind her to shoot more. She is a true team player and she doesn’t care what her average is. She’s out there for the team.”
The defense didn’t converge, but Wilkinson’s shot was true to secure the Knights’ second third-place finish.
“I was doing everything possible to play smart,” Wilkinson said just after the trophy presentation. “Whether that’s calling for the ball or looking to get someone else who was open. I thought they would adjust, that would have been the smartest thing they could have done.
“It turned out to our benefit, so I’m happy about that.”
The Knights took a seven-point lead late in the first half but had to rally late in the final period after the Red Devils’ Natalie Andreas hit a 3-pointer from deep in the right corner with a minute to go. An exchange of single free throws set the stage for Wilkinson’s key shot.
Wilkinson led East Valley with 12 points. Faith Adams chipped in 10 points, including two crucial 3-pointers.
La Salle 65, Medical Lake 61 (OT): The persistent and pesky Lightning rallied from an 11-point deficit to win the State 1A third-place game.
After trailing much of the game, La Salle’s man-to-man defense and some timely shooting enabled the Lightning to tie the game with about six minutes to play, build a five-point advantage and endure Medical Lake having a shot to win the game in the final 15 seconds of regulation.
The trophy is Medical Lake’s first since 1991 when the Cardinals placed fourth.
Jessie Lohman had 17 points to lead the Cardinals. Jayda Noble scored 15 and grabbed 10 rebounds and Makayla Geiger had 12 points.
Lakeside (Nine Mile Falls) 50, Zillah 36: The Eagles survived weary legs and a physical Leopards defense to capture the State 1A fourth-place trophy.
Lakeside (20-8), the seventh seed, took home a trophy for the first time since 2015 when the Eagles placed second.
Lakeside helped its case with some serious marksmanship early, hitting 4 of 5 3-pointers in the first half. But it was the third period – and limiting the Leopards to three points on 9 percent field-goal shooting (3 for 32) – when the Eagles took control. Zillah finished 18 percent from the field.
Hallie Jensen led Lakeside with 18 points and 17 rebounds. Sienna Swannack had 15 points, 12 in the first half.
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