Coming off of an undefeated season in the Narrows 4A, the Bellarmine Lions started slow in district play with two uninspired wins. They defeated Auburn 40-29 on Feb. 15 and Emerald Ridge 57-43 on Feb. 16, which got them a guaranteed trip to state regional play.
That is when trouble occurred with two blowout losses – 70-54 to Federal Way on Feb. 19 and a defeat at the hands of Kentwood as the Lions earned the number four seed to regionals. Just when you think it could not get any worse, Bellarmine drew Federal Way in the winner-in game in a region that also includes Skyline and South Kitsap. If head coach Kevin Meines’ team hopes to advance to the Dome they must get good scoring nights from leading scorer Sarah Hartwell and Simone Potts if the Lions hope to advance far in the tournament. If they get some improvement defensively it could mean the difference between a successful year or a long summer.
The Mt. Tahoma Thunderbirds got here the hard way. They got blown out at home by Mount Rainier in the opener by a score of 88-50.
They won three in a row in the loser’s bracket, including a 59-37 victory over Evergreen on Feb. 21 to earn the number five spot in the state regionals. Deborah Anderson was on fire in that game, draining three-point shots and stealing passes in leading her team to victory.
Coach Calvin McHenry said his team had to get back to basics after the fiasco against Mt. Rainier. The T-Birds were not playing defense or hustling in that game.
“We did a good job refocusing after that,” he said. “We got our chemistry and our confidence back. And everyone is healthy for the first time this season.”
They are in a bracket with the likes of Monroe, Woodinville and Mt. Rainier as they attempt to get to the Dome with two wins this weekend. Monroe is up first for a contest on Feb. 25 at Inglemoor High School. 6”7 center Jess Williamson leads the Thunderbirds while guard Charly Williams leads a talented backcourt that must be on its game from behind the arc if they hope to advance.
Last year’s young and talented Wilson Rams squad that lost two heart breakers in district has completely put those two games in their rear view mirrors. Head coach Michelle Birge’s team earned a trip to regionals by winning their first two games. Blowing out Kelso 61-35 and edging Lakes put the Rams within two games of the Dome as they try to regain their form after losing their last two games to district champion Prairie and Narrows League champion Timberline. If they hope to get to the Dome they will have to get through the likes of Seattle Prep, and perennial contenders Prairie and Lakeside. Three key players who will have to come through for Wilson are leading scorers Kaysha Fox, Tia Briggs and Bethany Montgomery.
Staff writer John Larson contributed to this article.