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Originally published March 4, 2011 at 11:41 PM | Page modified March 4, 2011 at 11:58 PM

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Woodinville feels the pain of coming up short of title game | 4A Girls

Lewis and Clark holds off Falcons to earn shot at championship

Seattle Times staff reporter

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TACOMA — Melissa Gilkey didn't try to hide the hurt.

Woodinville's whimsical ride through the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament fell one stop short of the desired destination with a 47-43 semifinal defeat against Lewis and Clark of Spokane on Friday night.

Gilkey's grief was obvious

She and her teammates had their hearts set on reaching the championship game. OK, winning the championship game.

"By far the most painful loss I've ever felt," Gilkey said, tears welling in her eyes. "Everybody wants the same thing, everybody wants first place. There's only one team that gets it. Definitely the most painful loss, when you're so close."

Instead, it will be Lewis and Clark (19-6) facing Federal Way (26-2) in the title tilt Saturday at 5 p.m.

The Tigers, who won three consecutive championships from 2006-08, ended Woodinville's 13-game winning streak. They built a nine-point lead in the fourth quarter and held on.

"My hair is gray," L-C coach Jim Redmon said. "We're lucky we had a big enough lead to finish it."

And perhaps lucky the Falcons played nearly all of the second half without one of their top players, Ali Forde, who fouled out a half-minute into the fourth quarter after sitting out most of the third quarter.

"To be honest, I think we get that game if Ali Forde plays the whole game," Woodinville coach Scott Bullock said.

Forde, who had eight points and five rebounds in 15 minutes, was one of three Woodinville starters to foul out in the physical game. Without her, Gilkey tried to take the team on her back, finishing with 18 points and 14 rebounds.

L-C's Hayley Hendrickson scored seven of her nine points in the fourth quarter, including the clinching free throws with 9.7 seconds left.

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"The only thing that was going through my mind was, 'You've made a thousand of these. Just go up there and do it,' " she said.

And she did. Woodinville, which struggled against L-C's pressure defense, had a shot when Rita Date came off the bench to bury a huge three-pointer with 57 seconds to play, cutting L-C's lead to 45-43. The Tigers turned it over with 31 seconds left and Bullock called time out to set up another play for Date.

But it didn't quite develop and Gilkey got pinned on the baseline, ultimately turning the ball over to set up Hendrickson's free throws.

"The kids battled back," Bullock said.

Woodinville (20-7), making school history with its semifinal appearance, plays Chiawana of Pasco (23-4) Saturday at 1 p.m. to decide third and fifth places.

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