Wilson routs Bellevue to take third at state
// Lady Rams top Mercer Island in opener, fall to Seattle Prep
The sting from their state semifinal loss to Seattle Prep remained in the hearts and minds of every single Wilson coach and player as they prepared to take on Bellevue for third place on March 2 at the Tacoma Dome.
But the Lady Rams sprinted to an early double-digit lead and coasted to an easy 51-30 win over the Wolverines, erasing the pain of the night before somewhat.
“As a coach, you want your girls to respond to a game like last night, and they overcame many obstacles today that they did not last night,” said Lady Rams head coach Michelle Birge.
Tia Briggs led all scorers with 16 points and Kaysha Fox and Kapri Morrow added 11 points apiece, while Shelby Cansler led Bellevue with 11 points.
“In our pregame talk, coach talked to us about bringing our “A” game today, and we did with a lot of emotion,” Briggs said.
That followed the disheartening 36-33 loss to Seattle Prep in the semifinals on March 1, as Bethany Montgomery’s game-tying three-pointer with 0.9 seconds
was disallowed by the referees after a brief discussion at mid court. Montgomery then threw off her warmup jacket and drew a technical foul, helping Seattle Prep seal it.
Montgomery would lead Wilson with 15 points and Kapri Morrow chipped in with nine points.
Morrow took matters into her own hands in the third quarter, scoring six points to help the Rams 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.
“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.”
In the opening round against Mercer Island on Feb. 28, Wilson struggled all afternoon with turnovers, shot selection, and free-throw shooting but found a way to beat the Islanders 48-37.
Briggs, who shared scoring honors for with Bethany Montgomery with 11 points, failed to get many touches in the low post for much of the game, but the Rams held a 23-17 halftime lead. Wilson put the game away by outscoring Mercer Island 13-6 in the third quarter as Justina Laney’s three-pointer and steal and layup late in the period proved to be the spark.
The Rams finished with a 23-3 overall record, having won the Narrows 3A with a 12-0 record. With Montgomery, Briggs, Fox, and Laney all graduating, there will be big shoes to fill next year.
“It’ll be tough replacing those girls, but we’ll get a head start with the minutes that (Morrow) gave us in the front court.
“I’ll miss these girls more than they will know, and I know they’ll be successful in whatever they do in life.”
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