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Originally published Sunday, February 17, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Sea-King 4A Girls Basketball | Ballard girls in state of joy

The wait is over. For the first time since the school opened in 1903, the girls basketball team from Ballard is headed to state. And the Beavers can...

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KIRKLAND — The wait is over.

For the first time since the school opened in 1903, the girls basketball team from Ballard is headed to state. And the Beavers can thank a Danish exchange student for helping get them there.

Jeanette Hansen, a 6-foot-5 center, supplied 13 points and 10 rebounds as sixth-ranked Ballard turned back Eastlake 56-48 Saturday night in Sea-King 4A District winner-to-state semifinal at Juanita High School.

"The only word it seemed I heard when I came to the team this year was, 'State,' " Hansen said amid postgame pandemonium. "I asked, 'What is state?' I quickly realized what it was. It was the biggest goal we could have. We could make history."

Ballard (20-2) plays Inglemoor for the district championship Friday at Juanita. The Class 4A state tournament is Feb. 27-March 1 at the Tacoma Dome.

The Beavers had difficulty shaking the Wolves. Eastlake trailed 47-44 with 2:45 to play before Ballard went on an 8-3 run.

"It's obviously been a three-year journey for myself and my assistants," said Ballard coach Karen Blair, who took over the program after 11 seasons at Meadowdale of Lynnwood, where she won state titles in 2000 and 2004.

"We kept telling the girls that didn't know what it meant to get to state. We kept telling them it was something they had to want themselves."

Eastlake (15-7) takes on Franklin (12-10) in a loser-out contest on Tuesday. The Wolves must win three loser-out games to reach state for the first time since 1997.

Ballard started to get the feeling it was a state-tournament team last season, beating second-seeded Inglemoor as a No. 7 seed in the first round of Sea-King District. But the Beavers lost two in a row and their season stopped short of a trip to Tacoma.

"That told us we could compete with teams," Blair said.

Guard Jena Boyle led the Wolves with 16 points, well above her average of 5.1. Kayla Williams added 12 for Ballard.

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Hansen watched her teammates go wild at midcourt after the victory.

"It was everything, especially for the seniors," said Hansen, one of six seniors on the team. "This was it for them. So many girls worked so hard this year and [for] the last three years.

"It's like we made the deal. And, it's about being a team."

Winner to state

Inglemoor 54, Roosevelt 37

Sally Blackner, a 5-11 senior, riddled the Roughriders (18-4) with 11 points — all inside — in the second half as the seventh-ranked Vikings (19-2) returned to state for the first time since 1998. Inglemoor outscored the 'Riders 33-17 in the second half. Roosevelt meets Redmond Tuesday in a loser-out game.

Loser out

Redmond 66, Lake Washington 53

Mary Petrie led three Mustangs in double figures with 17 points as Redmond (16-7) stayed alive. Kaylee VanNort scored 13 for the Kangaroos (11-11) of coach Jennie Rondel, who took over early this season.

Franklin 67, Garfield 34

Carol Howard scored 15 points to lead four players in double figures for the Quakers (12-10). Franklin took command with an 8-2 run to open the second half for a 40-23 lead. DeAundreney Dillard-Brown led Garfield (6-16) with 14 points. The Quakers face Eastlake in a loser-out game Tuesday.

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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