By Justin Gimse
Lincoln's Lady Abes overcame several obstacles on the way to their 53-51 loser-out playoff victory over Enumclaw in the West Central/Southwest District Regional Tournament tonight at Clover Park High School.
The Lady Abes (17-4) scored the first basket of the game, never to see another lead until 5:07 remained in the fourth quarter. Enumclaw (10-12) connected on five 3-point shots in the first-half while keeping Lincoln off-balance with a tenacious defense. The Hornets led 34-27 at the half and looked as though they might be taking control of the game.
Down five points in the third quarter, Coach Jamila Jones switched to a full-court pressure defense and Enumclaw was unable to match Lincoln’s intensity and hustle from that point forward.
With Tacoma sensation Tamia Braggs spending the majority of the game on the bench with fouls, Lincoln was sparked by smooth junior guard Kiaira Thomas, who finished with 27 points and 5 steals. Thomas got a hand on the ball with 2.5 seconds remaining in the game, leaving the Hornets no time to get off a half-court shot before the final buzzer.
Lincoln trailed by as many as 11 points in the second quarter, unable to answer the Hornets' five first-half three-pointers. The Lady Abes upped the defensive ferocity in the second half and were able to hold the Hornets to a single three-pointer the rest of the game.
Up next for Lincoln is 10th-ranked Auburn Mountainview (16-4) on Wednesday night at Washington H.S. at 7:45 p.m.
LINCOLN: Kiaira Thomas 27, Joy Failauga 10, Breneya Johnson 5, Aamira Turner 4, Kayla McLean 3, Tamia Braggs 2.
ENUMCLAW: Noelle Putnam 13, Kylie Rademacher 12, Hayley Sonneson 9, Kimmy Aubert 8, Samantha Engebretsen 4, Katie Carlson 3, Tallie Carlson 2