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Originally published March 1, 2013 at 9:01 PM | Page modified March 2, 2013 at 12:26 AM

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Seattle Prep escapes Wilson in dramatic semifinal | 3A Girls

A disputed call in the final seconds went against Wilson and helped the Panthers reach the championship game.

Special to The Seattle Times

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TACOMA — The misses kept piling up. So did the fouls.

But Seattle Prep was able to overcome all that, thanks to a spirited effort from senior Holly Tonry and a controversial call late in the game.

Tonry scored the final seven points for the fourth-ranked Panthers in their 36-33 win over third-ranked Wilson of Tacoma in Friday's Class 3A state semifinal at the Tacoma Dome.

With Prep leading 34-31, Bethany Montgomery hit what looked like the game-tying three-pointer with two seconds left, but officials ruled the shot a two-pointer, saying Montgomery's foot was on the three-point line. Montgomery took off her jersey and threw it to the floor when the refs ruled that her shot was a two-pointer, making the score 34-33. That drew a technical foul with .9 seconds left, and Tonry nailed two free throws for the final margin.

Montgomery insisted she was behind the line but apologized for her outburst, which she called "irresponsible and immature."

"I made sure," Montgomery said of looking at her feet before taking the shot.

"(But) it was a two, you can't argue with it. That's what the official score was. We lost. It was a two."

Tonry, a 5-foot-5 guard, finished with nine points as the Panthers reached the finals for the third time in school history.

"It was our team effort and staying together," said Tonry, who had to sit during the postseason the last three seasons because of injuries. "Everyone, including our bench players, kept us going. 'Hey, you go get the next one. You won't miss it.'

"We didn't give up. We wanted this championship game."

Prep faces Cleveland in the championship game on Saturday at 3 p.m. in what will be the fourth meeting of the season between the Metro League schools. Prep has lost all three previous meetings by a combined nine points.

"Our team's resilience (won the game)," said Seattle Prep coach Michelle Hall, whose team overcame 5-of-23 shooting in the first half. "And, we came out in the third quarter, and we were still a little flat. I always tell the kids, don't worry about the clock and just play our game.

"It's fate. Those are the type of games we've had. It's all about experience."

Prep hit 8 of 20 shots in the second half and outscored the Rams 13-7 in the fourth quarter.

Montgomery, a senior headed to Eastern Washington University, finished with 15 points and five rebounds for Wilson (22-3), which plays Bellevue for third place on Saturday at 11:15 a.m.

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