TACOMA – Aleisha Hathaway was so anxious to return, the adrenaline overtook her at times Thursday evening at the Tacoma Dome.
Hathaway ended up playing just two quarters because of foul trouble, but she matched her season scoring average (14 points) and provided more than enough impetus as the Shadle Park Highlanders girls basketball team stopped the Seattle Prep Panthers 49-37 at the State 3A tournament in a game that started two hours behind schedule.
Shadle Park (18-8) goes against second-ranked Holy Names (24-2) tonight at 7 in the semifinals.
East Valley had to overcome some key mistakes late in regulation before knocking off Mount Rainier 77-72 in double overtime.
The Knights (10-18) take on Lakes (19-8) in a loser-out game this afternoon at 12:30.
Shadle Park 49, Seattle Prep 37: The teams played to a 9-9 deadlock through one quarter.
After that it was all Shadle. The Highlanders opened a 24-14 lead by halftime and were threatened just once in the fourth quarter.
Hathaway got loose in the post for a basket, giving Shadle its biggest lead at 31-16 with 4:41 to go in the third. The Panthers didn’t go away, pulling within 41-35 with 1:37 remaining. But the Highlanders made 6 of 8 foul shots in the final 1:27 to secure the win.
“We came out playing like we should,” Hathaway said.
Especially Hathaway, who scored seven of the Highlanders’ nine first-quarter points.
Then foul trouble beset her.
“It felt like I was out every other play,” said Hathaway, who wasn’t allowed to play in the state opener because she was ejected in the regional title game. “Sitting out that game made me realize how much I love the game of basketball. In warm-ups I was smiling the whole time, I couldn’t wait to play.”
Shadle’s defense was stifling, especially help side.
“We talk a lot on defense, that’s one of the things we pride ourselves on,” Hathaway said. “We’ve just got each other’s back.”
Shadle coach Chad Dezellem agreed.
“We probably spend as much time on defense as we do offense, if not more sometimes,” Dezellem said. “Our kids are pretty fundamental. We take a lot of pride in our defense.”
Hathaway knows her team faces a difficult task against Holy Names.
“They’re tall,” she said. “We’re going to give it our best. There’s not much more we can do. It’s all about attitude.”
Shadle’s defense forced the majority of Seattle Prep’s 23 turnovers.
“I was just pleased that we came out and played a lot better all around today than we did yesterday,” Dezellem said. “Sometimes the shot doesn’t fall, sometimes you struggle. Teams play good team defense here so it’s hard to score. But if you can play great defense and rebound and take care of the ball you’re going to be in games.”
Shadle’s Chelsea Chandler had 11 points and seven rebounds and Kendra Knutsen had four steals to go with nine points.
Dezellem now turns his attention to Holy Names.
“We’ve got to take care of the ball and we’ve got to keep them in front of us,” Dezellem said. “You can’t let them have those second and third shots.
They just kill people with those second and third shots. And they kill people with their pressure. They’re so long. We’ve got to attack pressure with pressure and go get some easy buckets on the other end and make them pay for that pressure.”
East Valley 77, Mount Rainier 72 (2OT): The Knights led 52-45 with 7:45 remaining in the fourth quarter, but they went nearly 4 minutes without scoring.
The Rams went on an 11-0 run, taking a 56-52 lead with 3:39 to play. The Knights clawed back, though, taking a 57-56 lead when senior point guard Jenni White hit a leaning 8-foot bank shot with 1:16 to go.
Junior post Amber Swyers made one free throw to put EV ahead 58-56 with 10 seconds remaining. Mount Rainier’s Marisa Blair hit a 15-footer at the buzzer to send it to overtime.
Things looked bleak for the Knights when the Rams opened a 63-58 lead in the first overtime. But White got a steal and made a layup with 47 seconds to go to knot the score at 66-66.
Both teams had opportunity for final shots, but both committed turnovers.
In the second overtime it was EV that built a five-point lead at 72-67 with 2:12 remaining. That lead would hold up as the Knights made 5 of 8 foul shots in the final 1:13 to hold off the Rams.
“We had to overcome a lot of mistakes in the fourth quarter,” EV coach Rob Collins said.
White and junior wing Kimmie Thatcher each scored 22 points. White had eight rebounds, six steals and four assists and Thatcher had 11 rebounds. Swyers chipped in 12 points, 15 rebounds, four assists and two steals.
“She’s a special player,” Collins said of White. “We’re going to miss the heck out of her.”
Collins gives credit to playing in a tough league and a difficult nonleague schedule for preparing his team for state.
“My team has fought hard all year and played great teams,” Collins said. “We got beat pretty bad sometimes. They just started believing in themselves and playing four quarters of good basketball. Things are rolling right now. They’re not the team that their record indicates.”