TACOMA – Of the three straight teams University girls coach Mark Stinson has brought to state, this could be the least talented.
Not that it means the Titans shouldn’t be here. Not at all. The coaching job Stinson has done coupled with how much his girls have responded speaks volumes.
Now the Titans are guaranteed a trophy and will play for fourth place after knocking off Mercer Island 50-41 Friday in a loser-out game at the Tacoma Dome.
U-Hi (11-15) meets Sunnyside (23-4) at 9:30 this morning.
It was another frustrating day for the GSL’s boys teams. As a result, University and Shadle Park were eliminated.
University 50, Mercer Island 41: Emma Kennedy made two free throws with 16 seconds to go to secure the win.
Typical of the Titans, no player reached double-figure scoring. Ashley Woods and Kaitlin Pannell each had eight points. Pannell also had nine rebounds and Woods had six to go with two assists.
U-Hi opened the game with an 11-0 run and took a 13-5 lead into the second quarter.
Defense was key for the Titans.
“I thought the girls did a good job of being brave,” Stinson said.
It’s been a season full of adversity.
“The roles have been hard to define,” Stinson said. “Just recently they’ve been able to come together. It’s been rewarding.”
O’Dea 47, University 45: The Titans (15-11) were on the cusp of winning but couldn’t get a clutch basket in the final minute. Michael Isotalo gave U-Hi a chance when he made a deep 3-pointer with 1:33 remaining to cut the Irish lead to the final margin, but the Titans didn’t score thereafter.
O’Dea’s Jacob Lampkin got loose frequently and finished with 20 points and 12 rebounds.
“The size wore us down a little bit,” University coach Garrick Phillips said.
Robert Little led U-Hi with 15 points, Isotalo had 12 and Ben Kuiper finished with 10.
Stanwood 66, Shadle Park 54: The Spartans built a 52-31 lead late in the third quarter, but the Highlanders fought back within 59-49 when Kyle Knutsen scored a layup off a steal with 1:40 to go. That’s as close as Shadle would get.“We were getting great looks right there at the rim,” Shadle coach Tim Gaebe said. “We just couldn’t finish them.”Alvin Welch led Shadle Park (10-15) with 12 points and Dale Hagan had 10 with six rebounds.