YAKIMA – Medical Lake’s 3-point shooting in the second half – exquisitely timed and strategically located – powered the Cardinals past King’s 49-36 and into the State 1A girls basketball quarterfinals in the SunDome on Wednesday.
The Cardinals (19-6) will face Meridian in the last quarterfinal at 2 p.m on Thursday . Defending champion Lynden Christian likely awaits the winner of that game.
After having a nine-point first period lead reduced to two heading in the fourth quarter, the Cardinals did what they’ve done all season, according to coach Kyle Lundberg: They started hitting 3-pointers.
“That’s kind of been our MO all year,” Lundberg said. “We like to shoot 3s. In the SunDome it’s a little more difficult, a little different environment.”
That likely accounted for the inconsistency in the Cardinals’ deep efforts. The Cardinals had three 3-pointers in the opening minutes of the first quarter, then didn’t hit another until Jaycee Oliver connected in the opening minutes of the third period. On the afternoon, five Cardinals connected from long range, and a handful were in the second half when King’s pulled even and eventually took a brief lead.
Lundberg credited his team’s prior trips to state in 2017 and 2018 with steadying his team when King’s made the Cardinals’ lead vanish.
“I think being here last year helped us. We’ve been here before and we had been through this,” Lundberg said.
It also strengthened Medical Lake’s resolve to stick with the style of play that got it to the SunDome.
Medical Lake made five of its nine second-half field goals from beyond the arc, three from the deep left wing in a stretch of 2:44 that sent the Knights reeling. Jaxyn Farmen finished King’s off with a four-point play with 1:10 left that gave the Cardinals a 45-36 lead.
Bellevue Christian girls 50, Freeman 43: Sophia Bold scored 17 points and the second-seeded Vikings (22-2) topped the Scotties (18-6) in a loser-out game. Sydney McLean led Freeman with 18 points.
King’s boys 77, Deer Park 40: Tyler Linhardt scored 22 points and the Knights (19-5) eliminated the Stags (20-4). Isaac Berglund led Deer Park with 18 points.
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