Scots season stopped by Seattle Prep

Thursday, March 1, 2018

Shelby Gresch (L) and Julia Strand (R) on Senior Night

The Shorecrest Scots girls basketball team saw their resoundingly successful season screech to a sad halt Wednesday night at the hands of the Seattle Prep Panthers, losing in the first round of the State Tournament, 46-41. They ended their season with an overall record of 17-8.

The Scots concluded their outstanding 2017-2018 basketball season at the Tacoma Dome Wednesday night. The cavernous dome, with stands at some considerable distance from the court, and a low pitch to them, at that, makes it a facility more suitable for motocross, tractor pulls and stock shows. Witnessing basketball in this arena is comparable to watching it on a 13 inch TV. But what the dome lacked in atmosphere and intimacy, the two teams’ intensity more than made up. Family, students, cheerleaders and fans showed up in force to cheer on their treasured Scots, relieved to have finally arrived after slogging on I-5 for upwards of two hours.

The Panthers took the opening tip and attempted to score. Scots rebounded and created numerous opportunities to score. Unfortunately, the Scots could not find a hot hand. Both teams sparred and probed looking for an advantage. Initial action was slow as they felt each other out. Loose ball handling and several walks cost the Scots valuable processions. The shooting for both squads was cold, likely a combination of nerves, stifling defense, and the unique sight lines presented at the Done. The Panthers briefly pressed their defense trying to disrupt the Scots. The Scots did the same and finished the quarter with 6 fouls. Fencing by both clubs proved inconclusive and the quarter ended Scots 4 - Panthers 7.

The second quarter started at a deliberate pace by both sides. Errors and walking violations peppered the activity for the first six minutes. Scots “soft” press yielded a slight advantage on three occasions. In two instances Scots aggressive defense caused the Panthers to turn the ball over on shot clock violations. While scoring picked up for both teams, the Panthers maintained a slight lead. Panther three point shooting proved to be effective. The second quarter ended Scots 20-Panthers 22.

The third was played at a faster pace with an increase in scoring by both squads. Panthers kept the lead. SC senior Julia Strand picked up her third foul after a minute and a half of play. The freshman forwards for the Panthers started to have some success slicing through the Scots defense in the key. Scots defensive rebounding led by senior Shelby Gresch kept the Scots competitive for the quarter. It ended Scots 29 and Panthers 34.

The fourth was marked by a fast pace, sharp passing and hard drives to the basket. Conversely, the advantage was squandered by walking violations and casual ball handling. The Scots narrowed the gap to three points with two and half minutes left and further reduced the lead to two points with 56 seconds remaining. The Panthers made their free throws down the stretch to ice the game. The outcome was contested from opening tip to final buzzer. Final Scots 41 - Panthers 46.

The young Scots had only two seniors and two juniors on the roster. Both young teams gave all they had to give that evening. The fans knew it, expressed their appreciation throughout the contest and were very proud of the effort of their players. All participants have every reason to feel good about the game they played.

Every enthusiastic athlete wants to play just one more game, to have just one more shot, for the ride to continue. At the same time they know that the competition will come to a bittersweet end, either as a champion or with a final defeat. The finality is particularly poignant for the seniors because it is the last game of the last year. Often a strong focus on the goal fogs the pleasure of the quest. Thankfully, our memories of the wonderful remain vivid over a lifetime while the sting of disappointment eases into a hazy distance.

It was a GREAT YEAR!

--Article by "Deep Hoops"


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