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4A Consolation Games: Woodinville eliminates Kentwood
Seattle Times staff reporter
TACOMA — LeeAnn Palo felt the pall lingering around her Woodinville girls basketball team.
The Falcons were still stinging from Thursday's loss to No. 3 Prairie of Brush Prairie in the quarterfinals of the Class 4A state girls basketball tournament.
"Everybody was really quiet and upset," Palo said of Friday's noon walk-through. We haven't lost that much this year. It was a big downer."
But the fourth-ranked Falcons got fired up in a hurry when they took the Tacoma Dome court later in the afternoon for a loser-out game against No. 9 Kentwood. They drilled 8 of 11 three-pointers in the first half as they flew to a 43-22 lead, then held on for a 67-58 victory to assure the school of its first girls-basketball trophy.
"We didn't want to go home without a trophy," said Palo, who scored a team-high 19 points and was one of six Woodinville players with at least one three-pointer.
Woodinville (24-2) plays No. 6 Eisenhower of Yakima at 1:30 p.m. today to determine fourth and seventh places. The Falcons went 1-2 in their only other state appearance (1993). Their 24 wins ties a school record, according to coach Steve Segadelli.
Junior guard Amanda Best had a big game with 18 points and 12 rebounds, while Amanda Fleischman added 12 points, including her first three-pointer of the season.
Kentwood (24-5), here for the first time, cut a 23-point deficit to six in the fourth quarter, but Woodinville sealed the victory at the free-throw line. Junior guard Courtney Vandersloot scored 11 of her game-high 21 points in the fourth quarter. Freshman Lindsey Moore added 17 points, going 9 for 9 at the free-throw line.
"I think we proved we can play with anybody in the state," Kentwood coach Keith Hennig said.
For the Conquerors, the season started and ended with losses to Woodinville, the first coming by a 64-44 count.
Marelle Moehrle wanted to make sure the Mavericks stayed in the tournament for another day.
So, the junior guard scored seven of her career-high 26 points during a four-minute stretch of the third quarter as Meadowdale opened up a 42-34 lead. The game had been tied at 31 at halftime.
"The third quarter's our quarter," said Moehrle, who came into the tournament averaging just under 10 points. "I just came out and wanted to seal the deal. It was now or never. I didn't want to go home."
Neither did senior Caitlyn Rohrbach, who converted a three-point play with 2:04 to go and made 1 of 2 free throws at the 12.9-second mark to put the Mavericks up 58-56. She finished with 15 points and seven rebounds, moving from post to point guard for the final 2:44 following an ankle injury to star guard Eryn Jones.
Meadowdale (23-3) was eager to avenge a 57-54 loss to Jackson (22-5) in January, which snapped a 43-game, regular-season winning streak.
"We felt some revenge against them and to do it in a big venue like state feels good," Rohrbach said.
The Mavs are assured of a trophy and play Mount Tahoma today at 11:30 a.m. to decide fifth and eighth places. The status of Jones, who left the court in a wheelchair and was taken for X-rays, was unclear.
Eisenhower 71, Lincoln 56
Injury-depleted Eisenhower decided not to hold back despite playing one of the most athletic teams in the tournament.
Senior Laiken Dollente led four players in double-figure scoring with 18 points as sixth-ranked Eisenhower turned up its pressure defense, forcing 25 turnovers, to topple Lincoln of Tacoma.
Eisenhower coach John Triplett felt he had nothing to lose.
"We figured we'd just go down in flames if we were going to go down," Triplett said. "We hadn't pressed as much as we like to because of our rotation being shorter, but we just threw that out the door.
"Today, the press paid dividends for us. We just let it all hang out."
Eisenhower played without top rebounder and No. 2 scorer, Marianne Lombardi, for the third consecutive day. Still, the Cadets (28-2) have a chance to post the school's best finish at state with a win in today's 1:30 p.m. game for fourth and seventh places.
Lincoln (25-3) was without coach Kevin Strozier, who was in Flint, Mich., attending his mother's funeral.
Mount Tahoma 49, Gig Harbor 42
Sophomore forward Shauneice Samms scored 15 points, grabbed 11 rebounds and blocked six shots, leading Mount Tahoma over Gig Harbor.
Playing in just their second state tournament, the Thunderbirds (21-7) clinched their first tournament trophy with the win.
RaNesha Pate scored 14 points and had seven rebounds for Mount Tahoma.
The Tides (20-8) shot just 21 percent (12 for 56) and turned the ball over 29 times. Holly Rubert led Gig Harbor with 12 points. Erin Hacker scored 11 and Jenette North had a game-high 16 rebounds.
Times correspondent Matt Massey and The Associated Press contributed to this report.
Copyright © 2006 The Seattle Times Company