Two years ago, Bellarmine Prep interrupted Central Valley’s title run with a one-point win in a state quarterfinal, handing the Bears their only loss of any kind over a nearly three-year period.
In Thursday’s State 4A quarterfinal rematch at the Tacoma Dome it was different players, but same result.
Bellarmine Prep’s Ciara Gatpatan scored 19 points and the sixth-seeded Lions knocked off the fourth-seeded Bears 46-44, sending the defending state champions into the fourth-place bracket.
Central Valley (21-4) will play Inglemoor at 12:15 p.m on Friday in a consolation game.
Tomekia Whitman led CV with 17 points. The Bears shot 32 percent overall and just 3 of 13 from beyond the arc.
“It just wasn’t our best team performance as a whole, playing together,” CV coach Ryan Bragdon said. “But they fought and there were moments there where they did come together to show what we can do.
“It just wasn’t enough.”
“We were pushing tempo and they kind of slowed it down a little bit,” Whitman said. “We had a couple of defensive lapses which led to some offensive lapses. We just didn’t pick it up in time.”
Tight throughout in a physical, choppy game, the Lions led by five early in the fourth quarter after Makiah Reed made a 3-pointer and Gatpatan hit a pair of free throws.
CV’s MJ Bruno drove with the left hand to cut the deficit to one and after a stop, Kate Sams’ floater gave CV a one-point lead with 1:48 to go.
Rayelle Frazier made a pair of free throws to put Bellarmine Prep up 45-44. On the Lions’ next possession, Gatpatan was called for an illegal screen but CV turned it over with 24.6 seconds left.
Frazier missed the front end of a 1-and-1 and after a scramble CV lost the ball out of bounds. Frazier then hit one to make it 46-44 with 13 seconds to go.
A travelling call on an offensive rebound gave the ball back to the Lions, but Bellarmine Prep was called for a five-second violation.
CV had one last possession to tie it with 6 seconds left, but three shots failed to fall and the Lions escaped with a two-point win – one more than their predecessors had in 2017.
“I just think we were going way too fast for what we needed,” Whitman said about the mad scramble. “We should have probably slowed it down a little and recognized the time on the clock, but just a little bit too fast there at the end.”
Bellarmine Prep (22-5), the South Puget Sound champ, beat 14th-seeded Hazen 57-33 in a first-round game on Wednesday.
It was close after the first half, but the teams took different paths to get there. Bellarmine Prep hit 4 of 7 from beyond the arc and CV was 10 of 28 overall but just 1 of 6 from distance and the Lions led by two at intermission.
CV’s Mady Simmelink (nine points) popped a 3 at the start of the third but the 6-foot-1 Gatpatan picked up a couple of inside baskets and Bellarmine Prep took a three-point league with 2:48 left in the third.
Whitman grabbed an offensive rebound and kicked it out to Camryn Skaife, who mailed a 3-pointer to give CV a 34-33 lead after three.
“It took a while to adjust to the physicality that they were going to allow to play,” Bragdon said. “We just didn’t rise up to that in the first half and it hurt us.”
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