The Gig Harbor High girls basketball team was making its first postseason appearance in three seasons on Tuesday, and it didn't end the way the Tides hoped it would, as the Beamer Titans owned the second half to post a 52-24 victory in Federal Way.
I filed the following story for Wednesday's print issue of The News Tribune, and you'll find more information and some photos in the Gateway's Feb. 20 print issue.
The Beamer Titans didn’t play their best in the first half of Tuesday’s playoff opener against the Gig Harbor Tides, but they still led by nine points at the break.
When Beamer found their groove in the second half, it wasn’t nearly as close.
The Titans scored the first 13 points of the third quarter en route to a 52-24 victory over the visiting Tides in the first round of the West Central/Southwest bi-district girls basketball tournament.
Beamer (18-4) was coming off a one-point loss to top-ranked Mount Rainier in last week’s South Puget Sound League title game, and it took a while for the Titans to find their bearings against the Tides (9-12), who barely squeezed into the playoffs as the Narrows League’s No. 4 seed.
Beamer’s talented freshman trio of Quinessa Caylao-Do, Bria Rice and Nia Alexander led the victory. Caylao-Dao and Rice combined for 19 points, and Alexander posted 12 of her game-high 16 points after the half.
Titans coach Cory Alexander said his players developed more of a “loser-out mentality” in the second half. They’ll face Kentwood Friday in the tourney quarterfinals, a 6 p.m. start at Rogers High in Puyallup.
“If you want to be one of those top teams, you’ve got to be able to play hard at all times,” Alexander said. “Gig Harbor, you can’t fall asleep on them. A team like that, they’ll come back.”
The Tides played strong defense in the first half, but struggled to find any consistent offense. Taylor Talen and Katy Larson scored six points each in the loss.
“The key to it was the transition game, and that’s what cost us the game,” Tides coach Bob Boback said. “They got layups. We wanted to get them in a half-court game.”
Gig Harbor faces an elimination game at 6 p.m. Friday against Skyview. The game will be played at Bellarmine Prep.
Gig Harbor 6 8 2 8 —24
Beamer 13 10 16 13 —52
GH: Markham 2, Alton 2, Keim 3, Talen 6, R. Sommers 5, Larson 6.
B: Caylao-Do 10, Rice 9, Alexander 16, Sullivan 4, Vaara 2, Huff 7, Ramos 2, Martinez 2