Scots lose in District Finals 60-49; face Cleveland in Regionals next weekend

Sunday, February 18, 2018

Amanda Lee (#5) surveys the court for an open teammate
with Head Coach Carlos Humphrey in the background
Photo by Geoff Vlcek

The Shorecrest Girls' hopes of cutting down the nets were dashed Saturday evening at Jackson HS as they lost to the Stanwood Spartans 60-49 in the Northwest District One 3A Championship game. Stanwood avenged a rare home-court defeat they suffered at the Scots’ hands on their Senior Night earlier this month, 55-51.

SC will return to face Cleveland this Saturday February 24 at 4pm at Bellevue CC. The winner of that game will proceed to the Tacoma Dome.

It was an exciting scene at the mammoth Jackson gym, with both sides giddy with anticipation.

Julia Strand (#12) scoops up a shot in the lane
Photo by Geoff Vlcek
The stands were full behind both benches. Stanwood had a strong contingent of fans along with the Stanwood band, Stanwood cheerleaders and students.

Scots fans included young siblings to grandparents and everything in between. The crowd spanned multiple generations, from toddlers to the toddling.

Scots took the opening tip and drove for a basket. In the first half of the first quarter Scots employed a harassing one-on-one defense that resulted in a number of turnovers and an eight point lead. 

Initially a fast-paced game played by both teams shifted to a more deliberate pace that favored the Spartans. SC’s three point shots were not dropping and interior passes were often disrupted by the Spartans. The quarter ended Scots 15, Spartans 13.

At the start of the second quarter, first-year SC coach Carlos Humphrey emphasized the need to move more on offense to get some separation. 

The Spartans responded with high intensity defense. The Spartans edged into a small lead partly due to out-rebounding the Scots. SC shooting in the last four minutes of the second quarter went cold and resulted in a lead for the Spartans at the half, 29-23.

Scots opened the third with a pressing defense but the Spartans were ready for it and went over the top quickly. The contest oscillated back and forth, four points either way. The slower Spartan pace produced an advantage. Concurrently the Scots' three point game failed them, hitting only 21%. The Scots persisted, though, and managed to narrow the Spartans' lead to four at the end of the third, 42-38, Stanwood.

Shelby Gresch waits at the free throw line as a teammate attempts a shot
Photo by Geoff Vlcek
The fourth opened with the Scots running a press that created some turnovers. It remained a seesaw battle until mid-way in the fourth. At that point the Spartans added to their lead while the Scots shooting turned cold at the worst possible time. With three minutes left and an eight point deficit the Scots traded fouls for the ball. The Spartans, primarily Jillian Heichel and Ashley Alter, were very good from the line and increased the lead.

The final score was Stanwood 60, Shorecrest 49. It was the first District Championship for the Spartans going back to the ’70’s, a well deserved win for their team and their long-time, mild-mannered, professorial coach Dennis Kloke.

Senior Julia Strand led the Scots with 14 points in the hotly contested rematch. Sophomore Amanda Lee contributed 12 points to the effort. Senior Shelby Gresch added her usual stellar rebounding skills. Junior Audrey Dietz patrolled the baseline with great effectiveness while Sophomore Sidney VanNess generated lots of energy with her aggressive floor game. Both squads gave it their all and should be very proud of a game well played.

Strand graciously commented after the game “They’re a really good team. We fought hard, but it just wasn’t our night. Our shots just wouldn’t fall. But we’ll be ready for Regionals and I’m confident in our team. We’ll get the next one."

SC will face Cleveland next Saturday at 4pm at Bellevue CC in the Regionals. The winner of that game will proceed to the Tacoma Dome. The loser’s season will end.


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