Thanks to the dynamic senior duo of Taryn Soumas and Brooke Jessen, the Timberlake girls repeated as 3A state champions Saturday.
Soumas scored 23 points while Jessen added 21 points, nine rebounds and five assists as the Tigers rolled to a 65-49 victory over Sugar-Salem at the Ford Idaho Center in Nampa, Idaho.
“It’s awesome, and it’s been phenomenal to play with a group of girls like this,” said Jessen, who has committed to the University of Texas-Rio Grande Valley. “I love them so much, and I love that they always give it their all.”
Timberlake (23-2) and Sugar-Salem (24-2) have combined to win the past seven 3A titles, with the Tigers also winning in 2016 and 2017. But despite the blockbuster matchup, Saturday’s outcome was never in doubt. With Soumas scorching the nets on 7-of-10 shooting and Jessen flashing her all-around skill set, Timberlake maintained control from start to finish.
“Those two have been doing it for four years now, and they came up big in a really big game,” Timberlake coach Matt Miller said. “Taryn got us going with some hot shooting early, and when they switched defenses, Brooke took over from there.”
The Tigers roared out of the gates, blitzing the Diggers with aggressive defense and hot 3-point shooting to grab a 20-9 lead. Soumas poured in 15 first-half points as the Tigers went up 37-17 at intermission.
“It was amazing to see everyone come out and contribute,” Soumas said. “I’m so impressed with my team. We hadn’t really played like ourselves the last few games, but today, it was incredible the focus and consistency we played with.”
In the second half, Sugar-Salem tried a full-court denial of Soumas and employed a box-and-one defense against her in the half court. But Jessen took over, creating offense for herself and teammates Bernie Carhart and Blayre Jeffs, who chipped in six points apiece.
“When Taryn started getting face-guarded, I knew it was time to step up,” Jessen said. “Rebounding, scoring, whatever we needed – I had to go in there and fight hard.”
Mardee Fillmore led Sugar-Salem with 16 points and nine rebounds. Meg Fillmore added nine points and four assists.
The game was cleanly played and evenly matched in many aspects, but the Diggers couldn’t overcome the shooting disparity. Timberlake made 56% of its shots while Sugar-Salem hit 37%.
“We have a long history,” Sugar-Salem coach Crystal Dayley said. “I have a lot of respect for their program, and we always love playing them – I just wish it would have been a different outcome today.”
Timberlake also enjoyed a surprising 26-24 rebounding edge. The Tigers’ lineup was much shorter, but they scrapped their way to a stalemate against one of the best rebounding teams in the state.
“We stressed rebounding, and the girls really executed it today,” Miller said. “Sugar is as good as it gets, every year, and we were fortunate to have such a good game today.”
Rigby 47, Coeur d’Alene 41: Tylie Jones scored 16 points and the Trojans (21-4) held off the Vikings (19-3) in the 5A State third-place game at Ridgevue HS.
CdA was attempting to bring home its first trophy from state since 2014.
Madi Symons and Skylar Burke scored 16 points apiece for the Vikings.
Trailing by five at intermission, CdA scored the first seven points of the third quarter to take a 22-20 lead.
Jones answered with a 3-pointer and the Vikings were called for a foul underneath during the shot, giving the Trojans the ball back. Camryn Williams hit a 3-pointer for the six-point turnaround and Coeur d’Alene never led again.
Burley 45, Sandpoint 32: Amari Whiting finished with 31 points, seven rebounds and two steals and the Bobcats (19-6) beat the Bulldogs (12-12) in the 4A State third-place game at Mountain View HS.
Whiting broke the 4A tournament scoring record with 82 points, eclipsing Sandpoint’s Madi Schoening, who had 67 in 2015.
Kaylee Banks led Sandpoint with 10 points.
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