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Originally published Saturday, February 9, 2013 at 10:21 PM

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Skyline, Inglemoor reach KingCo 4A final | Girls Basketball

For the third time, Skyline had the charm. The Spartans defeated Newport 47-33 in the KingCo 4A girls basketball tournament Saturday night...

Special to The Seattle Times

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KIRKLAND — For the third time, Skyline had the charm.

The Spartans defeated Newport 47-33 in the KingCo 4A girls basketball tournament Saturday night at Juanita High School. It was the third time No. 9 Skyline has knocked off its Crown Division rival this season. Skyline faces Inglemoor at 6:30 p.m. Friday at Juanita in the tournament title game.

Newport will play Ballard for third place Thursday.

"It's incredibly difficult to beat a team three times in a season, particularly a good team, a team that knows you pretty well." Skyline coach Greg Bruns said. "I talked to the girls before, 'We're going to win this game with defense' ... Tonight that's what it was about."

The Spartans limited the Knights' Marika Wright and 6-foot-4 junior post Casey Schoenlein to a combined 16 points.

"That's where their offense comes from," Bruns said. "If we can stop them and take their points away, it makes it really difficult for them to score. That was the key."

Wright, averaging 12.2 points, was held to 10. Schoenlein was averaging 7.8 but managed just six.

Skyline jumped to a 15-6 lead, finishing the first quarter on a 13-3 run. The Spartans got four points in the first quarter each from senior guard Lacey Nicholson and junior forward Bryn deVita.

A pair of baskets from Nicholson in the last 1:48 of the first half put the Spartans ahead 27-17 at halftime.

With just under four minutes to play in the third quarter, senior Skyline guard Rachel Shim fed Haley Smith a bounce-pass on a fast-break for an easy layup. Just half a minute later, Shim got a defensive rebound and took it the length of the court for a basket, giving the Spartans a 36-22 lead.

"She's so invaluable to this team," Bruns said of Shim. "She's the glue to the team. She handles the ball. She runs the offense. She guards usually the best player on the other team. ... She does so many little things that make us good."

Nicholson led the Spartans with 17 points. Nicholson came in averaging 8.3.

"She's a streaky shooter," Bruns said. "When she's on, she's really smooth. It just happened to be her turn. This was her night."

And once again, it was Skyline's night against Newport.

Other semifinal

Inglemoor 58, Issaquah 53

Deja Strother, a 6-4 sophomore, scored 20 points as the No. 6 Vikings cruised into the KingCo final. A two-point second quarter hurt the Eagles as the Vikings built a 29-10 halftime lead.

After Strother's putback gave Inglemoor a 34-15 lead in third quarter, the Eagles went on a 10-0 run. But the Vikings netted the last six points of the quarter to extend their lead to 40-25.

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