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Originally published Saturday, February 23, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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Sea-King 4A Girls | Ballard is district champion

The Ballard girls basketball team already had put the hard work behind it, earning the first state-tournament trip in the school's history...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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KIRKLAND — The Ballard girls basketball team already had put the hard work behind it, earning the first state-tournament trip in the school's history.

But Friday night's district championship against Inglemoor offered the Beavers the chance for even more.

"I told them that nobody expects you to win," Ballard coach Karen Blair said. "But obviously, we can make more history."

In an overtime game against one of the two teams to beat them this season, the Beavers continued making history. Ballard held Inglemoor scoreless in overtime for a 49-41 win at Juanita to win the Sea-King District playoffs.

With the school's first district championship, the Beavers earned a No. 1 seed in the Class 4A state tournament, which begins Wednesday at the Tacoma Dome.

The Beavers survived a slow start, foul trouble for their leading scorer and a late Inglemoor rally that forced overtime.

"This was a new experience," Blair said. "We've never been in a championship game before. So we struggled and made things harder than they needed to be. But we came through down the stretch."

In overtime, 6-foot-5 center Jeanette Hansen made a pair of midrange jump shots to put the Beavers ahead. That was all Ballard needed.

"Defense was the key," Blair said.

After trailing 14-6 at the end of the first quarter, Ballard started the second with a 10-point run to take a 16-14 lead. The Beavers (21-2) didn't give the lead back until midway through the fourth quarter.

The Vikings (19-3) made five second-half field goals, but they drew enough fouls to stay in it by making 12 of 21 free-throw attempts. Inglemoor, which will make its first state appearance since 1998, took a 41-39 lead with 1 minute, 45 seconds left on a Chrissy Baumgartner basket.

On the next possession, Kayla Williams made a backdoor cut and tied it at 41 with an uncontested layup. In the final minute, both teams missed on chances to take the lead at the free-throw line.

Williams, who missed much of the second half with foul trouble, led Ballard with 14 points. Baumgartner led Inglemoor with 14.

Tom Wyrwich: 206-515-5653 or twyrwich@seattletimes.com

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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