YAKIMA – Just seven days ago, the St. John-Endicott Eagles were as low as they had been all season.
By 9 o’clock Thursday night at the SunDome, the season had reversed course and the Eagles were as high as they could imagine.
Thanks to junior Kelly Van Lith’s 20 points and a 54-43 win over Lummi, SJE is one step from the championship game of State 1B girls basketball tournament.
The Eagles (18-4) will face St. Michael’s in today’s late semifinal at 8 p.m. A win would mean a possible rematch with nemesis Colton in the title game.
Last Saturday, the Eagles were still smarting from a third loss to Colton – this one in the District 9 title game – compounded with the knowledge that they faced a tough next-day battle with Rosalia for the second state berth.
A win there paired them with powerhouse Almira/Coulee-Hartline in the state opener, but one team meeting made it clear that a tough draw was just part of the recovery process.
“The main thing we went over is that we knew we had a rough first day at state in store for us,” said senior Alyssa FitzGerald, who had nine points and nine rebounds. “But at the same time, we were really glad we had Almira.”
After pounding ACH in the opener and handling Lummi, last weekend seems as far back in the rear-view mirror as the first day of practice.
St. Michael’s 42, North Sound Christian 25: Cinderella’s late season run continued as they controlled the Lions for the final three periods to advance.
St. Michael’s (12-13) started the season 3-10. Neither of the wins at state have been clinics but both have been keepers.
The Lady Warriors are now assured of no worse than sixth place in their first trip to the state tournament.
The Lady Warriors held NSC to 15 percent shooting from the field in the second half and outscored the Lions 36-20 in the final three periods.
Katie Drass led the Lady Warriors with 13 and Katie Urann had 12.
Colton 65, Sprague-Harrington 15: The defending runner-up and top-ranked Wildcats bolted to a 35-8 halftime lead and moved into tonight’s early semifinal in a breeze.
Colton (22-0) will play Sunnyside Christian in the early semi as the Wildcats continue to steer a course for a return visit to the championship game.
In an afternoon when every Colton player played and scored, Courtney Druffel led the way with 13 points. Kelsey Moser chipped in 10 points and had nine rebounds. Colton tied a tournament record with 10 3-pointers.
Colton, with 131 points in its first two games, is on pace to shatter the four-game points record of 230 by Inchelium.
Sprague-Harrington’s 15 points tied a tournament record for fewest points in a contest.
Moses Lake Christian 33, Wishkah Valley 22: A 12-0 shutout in the third period moved the Lions past the Loggers and into the consolation semifinals.
MLC (10-9) will play Neah Bay in today’s 11 a.m. consolation semifinal. A win would assure a state trophy in the program’s first state tournament appearance.
Esther Timofeyev paced the Lions with 12 points and 19 rebounds. Kristina Firouzi had 11 points.
Almira/Coulee-Hartline 53, Pateros 22: The Warriors took out some of their frustration on the Nannies after Wednesday’s unexpected first-round loss, seizing a 26-6 halftime lead and coasting into the consolation semifinals.
ACH (23-2) will play Taholah – which Thursday won its first tournament game in history – in the 12:30 consolation semifinal. A win would return ACH to the trophy round where it was a fixture in the early part of the decade, making five straight appearances from 2001-2005.
The Warriors were led by Madeline Isaak’s 11 points, three assists and three steals in snapping a three-game state tournament losing streak.
Sunnyside Christian 48, Columbia 29: The Knights dropped the Lions into the bracket for fourth and seventh places with a methodical defensive effort, holding Columbia (Hunters) to 20 percent shooting from the field and allowing only single digits – scoring in all four quarters.
The Lions (20-5) will play today at 2:30 p.m. against Sprague-Harrington for a spot in the trophy round.
Krista Colvin led Columbia with 20 points.