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Originally published Tuesday, February 15, 2011 at 9:45 PM

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Holy Names off target, but on to state / Sea-King 3A Girls

The top-ranked Cougars crushed Juanita, and joined Mercer Island, Seattle Prep and Lakeside in qualifying for the first round of the state playoffs.

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WEST SEATTLE — What could go wrong, did go wrong for Holy Names Academy Tuesday night.

In a winner-to-state, Sea-King 3A District quarterfinal against Juanita, the Cougars' best long-range shooter couldn't find the basket. Virtually the entire team had trouble making layups. And the state's No. 1-ranked girls basketball team turned the ball over 17 times.

And when they left the floor at Chief Sealth High School, the Cougars still had a 74-41 victory over the Rebels.

"Our shooters didn't really shoot that well tonight," Holy Names coach Lee Adams said. "And we had far too many turnovers."

The Cougars (23-0) also have a state playoff berth and a spot in the district semifinals at 8:15 p.m. Thursday at Bellevue College against Lakeside, a 42-27 winner Tuesday night over Liberty.

Lakeside, Mercer Island and Seattle Prep also qualified for the first round of the playoffs with Sea-King 3A District victories Tuesday night.

Holy Names got there on the back of Ericka Johnson, who had 23 points, 10 rebounds and seven steals. Johnson's performance more than made up for the off-night of the Cougars' other star shooter, Claire Conricode.

Whether she was trying three-pointers or driving the lane for possible layups, Conricode had a tough night on offense. She scored only 10 points but contributed in other ways — especially defensively.

"The thing we've been telling Claire since her freshman year, if you want to be known as a shooter and you're 2 for 20, you'll be on the bench," Adams said. "If you're 2 for 20 and you're a basketball player, you'll stay on the floor. What I really liked tonight, she stepped up her defense."

When it was over, the Cougars — Class 3A finalists a year ago before losing to Cleveland — had their return trip to state assured. But they didn't have an attitude of entitlement.

"Never," Adams said. "One of the things we preach is to respect the game, respect your opponents. If you don't, you may not get where you want to be. We don't want to lose one now and end up not there."

Other games

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Mercer Island 65, Cleveland 62 (winner to state)

At Bellevue College, Hailey Gullstad scored 16 of her game-high 25 points in the fourth quarter to lead Mercer Island past third-ranked Cleveland. The Islanders (16-10), who secured a spot in the state playoffs, will play Seattle Prep in the semifinals at 4:45 p.m. Thursday at Bellevue College. The Eagles, defending 3A state champions, will play Mount Si at 4:45 p.m. Friday in a loser-out game. Cheyenne Wilson led Cleveland (19-5) with 16 points. Kris Brackmann scored 21 for the Islanders.

Seattle Prep 52, Mount Si 43 (winner to state)

At Bellevue College, Kari Luttinen took over early and finished with a game-high 27 points in Prep's upset win over ninth-ranked Mount Si. The Panthers (16-7) earn a trip to the first round of the state playoffs next week, but will first play in the district semifinals against Mercer Island at 4:45 p.m. Thursday. The Wildcats (17-6) will play Cleveland in a loser-out game at 4:45 p.m. Friday. Shelby Peerboom (11 points) and Kassidy Maddux (10) led Mount Si.

Lakeside 42, Liberty 27 (winner to state)

At Chief Sealth, Whitney Best scored 19 points and the Lions (15-8) pulled away from the Patriots (16-9) with a big third quarter. Lakeside earned a state berth and will play Holy Names in an 8:15 p.m. Thursday district semifinal at Bellevue College. Liberty and Juanita play an 8:30 p.m., loser-out game at BC on Friday.

Times staff reporter Mason Kelley contributed to this report.

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