With all the bright lights behind them and a 15-11 lead after the first quarter, one would think the senior dominated Wilson Lady Rams would forget about all the hype at the state tournament. Wilson would struggle all afternoon with turnovers, shot selection, and free-throw shooting, but in the end they found a way to beat the Mercer Island Lady Islanders 48-37 in the quarterfinal round of the 3A tournament on Thursday morning at the Tacoma Dome.
“They let some of the (officials’) calls get under their skin early, and I told them to forget about it and play,” said Lady Rams head coach Michelle Birge of her over anxious squad.
Tia Briggs, who shared scoring honors for with Bethany Montgomery with 11 points, failed to get many touches in the low post for the remainder of the game, which did not make Birge very happy. “We have to get her the ball at least one out of every three times down court for us to be successful,” she said.
Leading by six entering the second half, Wilson would put the game away with a 13-point third quarter while holding the Lady Islanders to just six. Justina Laney’s three-pointer and steal and layup late in the third proved to be the spark they needed to finish it.
“Seattle Prep is a very good team, losing two heart breakers to Cleveland by a mere one point each time,” Birge said. “Needless to say, we’ll have to be a lot better tomorrow afternoon.”
The Rams will look forward to a semifinal matchup with the Seattle Prep Lady Panthers on Friday afternoon at 3:45.