Throughout their very successful four-year run through the 3A Narrows League, the Wilson Lady Rams have many great memories that they will take with them for the remainder of their basketball careers. But one that they will not soon forget will be the 10-point lead they let slip away in the second half of the 2013 state semifinals, as the Seattle Prep Panthers rallied for a 36-33 win in a game that was marred by a controversial ending.
“I told the girls before the game that (Seattle Prep was) a real battle-tested team, and that it would probably come down to the last possession,” said Wilson head coach Michelle Birge. “But in the end, we missed a lot of good opportunities.”
Bethany Montgomery led all scorers with 15 points. The game had it’s rough edges in the first half, with both teams failing to connect from anywhere on the court. Prep connected on just 21 percent and Wilson shot a paltry 19 percent from the field in the opening half. With Tia Briggs struggling from the field, Kapri Morrow decided to take matters into her own hands, scoring six third-quarter points to take a 25-15 lead. But the Lady Panthers would score eight of the final nine points in the quarter to cut the lead to 26-23 going into the fourth quarter.
Trailing by three points with seven seconds left, Montgomery prepared to hoist a three-pointer, but a timeout was granted to Birge just before she was fouled beyond the arc. After a pair of Prep free throws restored the three-point Panther lead, Montomery got set to launch another three with 0.9 seconds left. With her foot clearly behind the line, the shot caught nothing but net for a supposed three, but the shot was ruled a two-pointer. Montgomery was called for a technical foul after throwing her jersey in frustration, and Holly Tonry hit the two foul shots to seal it for the Panthers.
“It’s so heartbreaking to lose like this,” Montgomery said. “I’ve been through so much here at Wilson. We played so hard tonight but let that lead slip away.”
The Rams will now take on Bellevue on Saturday morning at 11:15 a.m. with a third-place finish at stake.