Mount Tahoma drove to the lane time after time late, consistently giving themselves a chance to get back into the game. But missed free throws cost the Thunderbirds dearly, as they fell 66-60 to Kennedy in the district playoffs tonight at Franklin Pierce High School.
Trailing by no more than six points to Kennedy for the final six minutes, the Thunderbirds went just 3-for-11 from the free-throw line in the final quarter – and 10-for-26 for the game. The Lancers’ Celestina Ramirez, meanwhile, took over scored 17 of her game-high 26 points in the second half to help Kennedy put the game away.
Mount Tahoma took a 17-12 lead at the end of the first quarter, as Ashley Keys and Tanisha Lopez - who tied with a team-high 16 points apiece - each hit two three-pointers in the period. Lopez added two more three-pointers in the second quarter, the second of which broke a 22-22 tie with five minutes left.
After Leah Brooks had given the Thunderbirds a 44-42 lead with 2:40 left in the third, Ramirez responded with a three-pointer and followed up with a jumper in the lane to regain the lead for the Lancers.
But Mount Tahoma’s Rejie Wright - who finished with 15 points and nine rebounds - came on strong in the final quarter, helping the Thunderbirds keep pace with an early three-point play and a driving layup that cut the deficit to 55-53 with 3:35 left. But that’s as close as Mount Tahoma would get.
Jea’Ohnna Lee added 9 points and five rebounds for Mount Tahoma, while Nikki Miller had 16 points for Kennedy and Kelsey Abrejera added 14 points.