Seattle Christian girls unite strongly in win at ShoWare
By Gerardo Bolong
KENT - Following tentatively played early season games, the Nisqually 1A Seattle Christian girls basketball team finally coalesced strongly despite the absence of two players in a 64-59 defeat of NPSL 4A Tahoma in game action of the 2018 ShoWare Shootout held at the ShoWare Center on Dec. 22.
"I thought it was the first time this year that the girls just let it go and not be tight," said Warrior head coach Jasen Baskett. "We found another player because we had to use her. Claire Maulding was playing her first game, ever, and we have Justyce Porter coming back from injury, as well as Ava Louie returning to action."
Maulding contributed 24 minutes of court time and scored an important basket. Lina Fesaha added eight minutes for the depleted squad.
After managing to battle the Bears evenly for most of the affair, Seattle Christian faced a 54-49 deficit with 3:40 remaining in the fourth quarter.
At this point, the Warriors let fly with all they had.
Seri Anderson took it to the hoop for a goal before Olivia Clark continued stealing from the Bears in Tahoma's back court to set up her own three-point goal. Anderson later cleared herself at the top of the key to hammer home another three-ball as the Warriors led 57-54 with just more than two minutes showing in the fourth quarter.
Lily Knutson had a chance to tie for Tahoma after being fouled while converting a driving lay up, but missed the free throw. In later action, Emma Basket pounded home a three-point goal to enlarge the SC lead to 60-56 with 1:15 left. Clark converted the second of two free throws 21 seconds later.
An opportunity for a put back basket failed for Tahoma and Seattle Christian rebounded, sending an outlet pass to Claire Maulding.
SC called time out with 30 seconds remaining in regulation to set up an inbounds pass from the side with Baskett as the trigger player. Baskett successfully got the pass in leading to another fouling of Clark for another one-of-two conversion with 16.6 seconds that created a 62-56 Warrior margin.
Tahoma earned one final shot at victory when Audrey Tommervik downed a Bear goal from beyond the three-point arc 12 seconds later.
Anderson was fouled with just less than three seconds showing and calmly swished home the game clinching charity tosses.
"We knew we just had a big opportunity," said Anderson, who closed with 15 second half points en route to a game total of 18 plus a dozen rebounds and a trio of assists. "It was a time to just do it. We loosened up and tried our best to put it out there."
Three-point goals in the first quarter nearly offset SC turnovers, but the inside game of Tahoma prevailed for a 16-11 Bear lead after one quarter.
Tahoma showed erratic field goal shooting, but its inside game improved when the Warriors missed threes and failed to rebound thus allowing many Bear possessions. Close-in baskets lead to a 10-0 Tahoma surge that increased its advantage to 26-11 in the second quarter.
Clark hustled all over the court for steals, lay ups, and three-pointers to narrow the gap and keep SC in range. She outscored the entire Tahoma team 12-2 to get the Warriors within 28-23.
Following a Tahoma basket, Clark maneuvered for a drive to the basket at the 1.2 seconds mark to keep Seattle Christian within 30-25 at the half.
"Olivia carried us the first half," said Baskett, who did her part with 11 points. "I felt that in the second half we woke up."
Indeed. Clark poured in 20 first half points with seven rebounds and two steals.
Maulding, Baskett, and Clark worked the Warriors to a 39-37 lead with 3:44 remaining in the third quarter only to have the Bears bull their way back into a 46-39 clearance.
Anderson drove the lane to return Seattle Christian to a five-point deficit at 46-41 entering the fourth quarter.
The Tahoma lead settled at four to five points until the 54-49 set up for the final determination.
"It was just amazing," concluded Clark. "All of it. We just didn't want to lose and came together."
Also amazing was Clark finishing with 33 points, 15 rebounds, six assists and eight steals. Kaitlyn Royal added an important eight boards.
Knutson notched 13 points with 16 rebounds for Tahoma. Tommervik added 10 points and six assists. Also at 10 points was Treena Schweikart.