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Originally published Saturday, March 1, 2008 at 12:00 AM

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4A Girls Notebook | Ballard's Karen Blair earns 300th win

Karen Blair wasn't counting, but her assistant coach wouldn't let her forget. When Ballard beat Kentwood on Friday to advance to the trophy...

Seattle Times staff reporter

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TACOMA — Karen Blair wasn't counting, but her assistant coach wouldn't let her forget.

When Ballard beat Kentwood on Friday to advance to the trophy round in the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament, it was Blair's 300th career victory.

Even the Ballard players didn't know until assistant coach Bryan Howisey told them in the postgame locker room.

"That's really cool," senior Kayla Williams said. "She really deserves it."

Blair's 14-year coaching record is 300-66. She was 255-39 in 11 seasons at Meadowdale. Ballard went 22-24 in her first two years, but the Beavers are enjoying their best season and improved to 23-3 with the loser-out win over Kentwood of Covington.

"It's obviously a great accomplishment," Blair said. "I've been blessed to coach some wonderful kids. I didn't go into it looking for accolades for myself. I don't track that stuff."

She said she was especially proud of her team for bouncing back from Thursday's quarterfinal loss to Pasco.

"It does make that 300th win that much sweeter for me," Blair said.

Ballard plays Snohomish today at 1:30 p.m. for fourth and seventh places.

Snohomish rap session

How do you loosen up a team before a big game? How about a rap?

That's what the Snohomish coaching staff did before Thursday's quarterfinal game with Lewis and Clark.

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"It's really entertaining," said Panthers guard Karley Lampman.

The coaches dressed up and — according to coach Ken Roberts — wore "bling bling." They rapped a few lines about each team member.

"Unfortunately, it may make it to YouTube because our kids had a bunch of cameras," said Roberts. "I hope it doesn't."

He's the only one.

The Panthers fell short, losing 55-47 to Lewis and Clark of Spokane in the quarterfinals. But Snohomish bounced back Friday with a 49-38 win over Lake Stevens, assuring the Panthers a trophy. They play in today's fourth-seventh-place game at 1:30 p.m.

Corral closes on mark

Ashley Corral won't go home with the championship trophy she has dreamed of since her freshman year at Prairie of suburban Vancouver. But she can leave with the tournament's career scoring record.

With her 21 points in Friday's semifinal loss to Lewis and Clark of Spokane, she now has 232 career points in 15 tournament games. The record is 242 set by former Lakes and Stanford star Kate Starbird (1991-93). Starbird, who went on to play professionally, played in only 10 state games.

Prairie plays a consolation game today at 3:30 p.m.

Corral scored 157 points in her first three tournament appearances and added 54 in her first two games this week.

"It would be an honor to be in that [record] book," she said. "There's some great players in that book."

Corral also has a shot at the career record for steals. She had four against Lewis and Clark, giving her 36. The record is 39 by Kennewick's Leilani Mitchell (2000-03).

Notes

Shauneice Samms will have special memories of the state tournament, just not this year's.

The 5-foot-9 senior from Mount Tahoma of Tacoma had a quiet tournament, finishing with 32 points, 22 rebounds and nine blocks in three games. She said she was fighting a cold or allergies the last two days.

"I just want to go home and go back to sleep," she said Friday after the Thunderbirds were eliminated by Bellarmine Prep.

The nine blocks this week brought her career record here to 40.

Kevin Meines has been waiting three years to see his Bellarmine Prep team to play to its potential. The Lions looked good Friday in beating rival Mount Tahoma in an all-Tacoma consolation game, 60-46. "Finally, everyone got to see the team I see every day," said Meines.

• Graham-Kapowsin, a third-year school, won its first game at state this year. "It's something to build on," said coach Dave Andersen. The G-K wrestling team placed second, and the football team made the quarterfinals.

Kelsey Ramsey, leading scorer for Pasco, is on crutches and watching the tournament from the bench after a freak accident suffered while celebrating a winning shot last Friday. Ramsey, a four-year starter, scored the game winner against Moses Lake last Friday to earn the state berth but came down wrong on jumps toward two ecstatic teammates. Result: A torn ACL in her left knee.

Freelancer Zach Landres-Schnur contributed to this notebook

Copyright © 2008 The Seattle Times Company

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