Defense was the name of the game for the Mount Rainier Rams.
The last time they faced Todd Beamer, in the 4A South Puget Sound League title game 11 days ago, the Rams survived with a one-point victory.
This time, during Monday’s 4A West Central/Southwest bi-district girls title game, Mount Rainier was all defense in its 51-33 victory over the Titans.
As the bi-district’s No. 1 seed, Mount Rainier (24-1) faces Kentridge, a 58-51 loser to Kentwood, in Friday’s 8 p.m. regional at Puyallup High School. As the No. 2 seed to regionals, Beamer faces Arlington at 6 p.m. Friday, also at Puyallup.
Mount Rainier topped Beamer, 57-56, on Feb. 7 in the SPSL title game. This time, the outcome was much different.
“We knew the players and what they like to do,” said Mount Rainier junior Brittany McPhee, who led all scorers with 26 points.
The team’s defensive pressure translated quickly into a 14-0 first-quarter lead before Beamer (20-5) scored its first bucket with 16 seconds left in the quarter. Mount Rainier held a 24-11 advantage at halftime.
After Beamer pulled within eight at 28-20, the Rams went on a 12-2 run that stretched into the fourth quarter.
Beamer played without freshman point guard Bria Rice (ankle sprain), and only three players scored: Caylao-Do had 15 points, Nia Alexander had 13 and Huff had five.