Look out Tacoma Dome - Shorecrest girls are coming to town

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Julia Strand in play last week
Photo by Geoff Vlcek
The Shorecrest girls basketball team defeated the Cleveland Eagles, the Metro League champs, 43-36, Saturday at Bellevue CC to qualify for the 3A State Tournament.

The Scots (17-7) will square off against the Seattle Prep Panthers (18-5) Wednesday night at 7:15 in the Tacoma Dome, 2727 E D St, Tacoma 98421.

The Bellevue gymnasium and foyer were bustling with Scots and Eagles fans and family. Stands on both side of the court where nearly filled with anxious supporters. The new and better lighting enhanced the ambiance of the arena.

The Scots set up their one-on-one defense quickly and with a turnover launched a fast-paced attack resulting in an 8 to 0 lead over the Eagles early in the first quarter.

Fast breaks initiated by senior Julia Strand, with junior Audrey Dietz and senior Shelby Gresch on the wings, produced numerous opportunities for scoring. By mid-quarter the Eagle were starting to adjust to the up tempo game of the Scots. (The Seattle Times got a great shot of this play)

Sophomores Amanda Lee and Sidney VanNess were quick to scramble for loose balls going to the floor frequently throughout the contest.

At the six minute mark Lee joined in a scrum, came up bleeding from both sides of her nose, and departed the court.

While both squads were cold early, the seven defensive rebounds by the Scots limited second shot opportunities for the Eagles and kept the Scots in the lead through the quarter, ending at Scots 9 and Eagles 2.

In the early stages of the second quarter, the Scots one-on-one defense, with excellent communications and switching, kept the Eagles in check. Some casual ball handling held down the Scots scoring as well.

Two minutes into the quarter the courageous Lee returned to the court with some “unwelcome” adornment in her nose. She continued to execute an effective point game and the pace quickened late in the quarter.

Sophomore Kira Wood came off the bench to hit her first three pointer, ending the half Scots 19 Eagles 14.

The starting five opened up the third quarter with a fast-paced up and down game, and Cleveland matched the pace. Defensive rebounding again played a significant role in holding down the opponent and building a lead over the Eagles.

Several give and go plays, Wood to Strand, further increased the lead. The defensive work of the tall trio of Strand, Gresch and Dietz on the inside made it difficult for the Eagles post to maneuver in the key. With the increased intensity, the Scots accrued six fouls in the quarter. The third closed Scots 34 and Eagles 24.

Ten seconds into the final quarter, the Eagles were already in the foul bonus. For the Scots, a fast break from Strand to Dietz was a picture perfect score that energized the team.

The Eagles picked up their defense and ground their way back into the game, chipping away at the Shorecrest lead. The Scots responded with a three guard offense that damped down the Eagles.

With two and a half minutes left in the game the score was tied.
With tension building and two minutes to go, Sydney VanNess hit a three pointer, the biggest shot of her life, to give the Scots a lead they would not relinquish.
After several failed Eagles scoring attempts, Strand rebounded a Cleveland miss. With time running down on the shot clock, and just over a minute to play, the steady senior Strand iced the game with a step-back three that got nothing but net.

Final score, Scots 43 Eagles 36.

Scots fans gave the team a standing ovation and the team reciprocated.

Wednesday at 7:15pm it will be Seattle Prep vs Shorecrest at the TACOMA Dome—STATE!


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