Paul Moseley
Annalisa Ursino is fouled as she tries to fast break after making a steal. West Seattle won the game handily beating Sumner 56 - 18.

SLIDESHOW:Wildcats Crush Sumner 56-18 - Advance to State Final Tourney in the Tacoma Dome

by Paul Moseley

It seems like the West Seattle Wildcats have been trying to get comfortable since their last game of the regular season against Franklin. That’s the game where All Metro point guard Gabby Sarver went down with a knee injury, and Metro MVP Lydia Giomi sat out with the flu. Giomi came back two games later to help the Wildcats win the Metro League title, but then West Seattle dropped two games in a row in the District Tournament. The Wildcats were battling additional injuries across the team and seemed to be off balance, trying to figure out how to play what Head Coach Sonya Elliot described as ‘point guard by committee’ to fill the gap left by Sarver.

Tonight, the Wildcats finally got comfortable.

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SLIDESHOW: Seattle Lutheran comes from behind, wins a nail biter, earns bid to state tournament

By Anastasia Stepankowsky

The chant echoed through the Bellevue College gym Saturday afternoon.

“I believe that we will win. I believe that we will win ….”

The outcome often seemed in doubt, but the faith of the Seattle Lutheran student section proved well founded, as the Saints pulled off a narrow 52-49 win over the Yakama Nation Tribal School Eagles Saturday to move on to the state 1B basketball tournament.

“It was a battle. We had to play our hearts out and not get down on ourselves,” said Saints Xavier Turner, who netted 11 points.

Though it turned into a nail-biter, the game began slowly. Both teams’ scores only added to six in the first four minutes. But the Eagles pulled away when Justin Strom and Joseph Sanchey, who ended with 19 points, swished several three pointers. Midway through the second quarter, Yakama opened its biggest lead of the game, 21-13. But the Saints found some momentum and trailed only 25-21 at intermission.

The second half proved decisive for the Saints, who made some defensive adjustments and forced several turnovers. The lead kept changing until Seattle Lutheran took the lead for good with a minute on the clock.

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Ed Shepherd
Lions' players celebrating after the regional victory over Taholah that sends them to state at the Spokane Arena

Shorewood Christian blocks out doubt, beats tough, Taholah, for state berth

Often, the play of the game is an offensive play, like, a shot from the corner as the clock expires, or, a running lay-up through traffic at the buzzer, but not this time, as, Shorewood Christian's Nicko Morris, defensively, shined, in the last seconds, to preserve a win, 56-55, over the Taholah Chitwhins, and, send the Lions to 1B state from the Hardwood Classic Regional Round at the Tumwater High School gymnasium Saturday.
"Nicko got the block, phenomenal," said Lions head coach, Alfonso Gonzales. "What we needed."
The Lions came into the game looking much the worse team on paper, with a 9-11 record to the Chitwhins 15-4 mark. But, a super start, followed by a consistent middle, and, Morris' fantastic finishing play, made the difference. The win sends the Lions back to the state tournament at the Spokane Arena, where they took fifth place last year. State starts on March 5, with an 8-team field battling for 1B state supremacy on Saturday night, March 7.

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