Todd Beamer High girls basketball coach Cory Alexander just couldn’t get comfortable.
Even with his team dominating the low post and holding a lead that ballooned to as many as nine points in the first half, he still had plenty of reasons to fear the Mount Rainier Rams.
Those fears were realized when superstar siblings Jordan and Brittany McPhee combined to score all of Mount Rainier’s 17 fourth-quarter points, erasing a the deficit and helping the Rams close out a 57-56 victory over Todd Beamer in the 4A SPSL championship game Thursday night at the Showare Center in Kent.
The Rams (20-1) will head to the West Central District tournament as the league’s No. 1 seed, while Beamer will go as No. 2.
“I hate losing more than I like
to win,” said Brittany, who just missed notching a triple-double, finishing with 27 points, 12 rebounds and nine blocks. Jordan finished with 15 points.
After Quinessa Caylao-Do drilled a corner 3-pointer to push the Titans’ lead to 46-40 with 7 minutes to play, the McPhees leapt into action.
The two teams went back and forth throughout the fourth quarter, with Beamer senior Megan Huff doing her best to counter the McPhees’ surge. Huff scored back-to-back buckets to tie the score at 54 with 1:13 to go.
After Brittany McPhee split a pair of free throws to give the Rams a 55-54 lead with one minute to go, the Titans (17-4) turned the ball over on the ensuing possession.
Then it was Jordan McPhee’s turn. She swished a pair of free throws with 4 seconds remaining to give the Rams a 57-54 lead that held up after Brie Rice scored on a put-back at the buzzer.
“I’ve shot enough free throws with her to know she can make them,” Brittany said of her sister’s calm under pressure.
The McPhee sisters’ performance overshadowed a stellar effort by Huff, who finished with 28 points on 13-for-25 shooting from the field. She also grabbed 13 rebounds.
“I’m really impressed with our girls,” Alexander said. “They played hard against a veteran team. They didn’t back down. We just ran out of steam a little bit.”
The game was a big test for Mount Rainier, which played in few close games this season.
“We haven’t had a lot of games where we’ve been behind,” Rams coach Bob Bolam said.
Auburn Riverside 47, Puyallup 45: The Ravens held Puyallup to 29 percent shooting from the floor in the second half and forced 20 turnovers for the game, eventually holding on for a victory to clinch the district’s No. 3 seed.
Shantell Jackson led Auburn Riverside (16-5) with 14 points.
Addison Picha scored 12 points for Puyallup (18-3), which will advance as the fourth seed.